World Cup 2014: England play like Northern Ireland, says Uruguay striker Diego Forlan

The former Manchester United striker says Uruguay's latest warm-up match was good preparation for the World Cup

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The Independent Football

Uruguay striker Diego Forlan has likened England's playing style to that of Northern Ireland.

The former Manchester United striker was in action against Northen Ireland last night as his side prepare for the World Cup in which they meet England in Group D.

Forlan saw the match, which Uruguay won 1-0, as the ideal preparation for meeting the Three Lions despite Michael O'Neill's side being ranked 84th in the Fifa World Rankings, 73 places below England.

"It was good preparation because Northern Ireland play in the same style as England," said the 35-year-old who shone at the last instalment of the World Cup.

Forlan played for Manchester United from 2001 to 2004 during which he struggled for goals before finding more success at the likes of Atletico Madrid and Villarreal. However, the opportunity to silence any remaing doubters in England is not a motivating factor for Forlan.

"The England game is not more important for me because every game in a World Cup is just as important, but it will be a tough one," he said.


Northern Ireland showed last night that England may have little to fear from a Uruguay side lacking Luis Suarez who is currently in a race to be fit after knee surgery. They battled to an honourable 1-0 defeat in Montevideo, despite O'Neill's side being far from full strength.

A solitary second-half strike from substitute Christian Stuani split the sides as Northern Ireland stood firm against their opponents' weight of possession.

England spent last night beating Peru 3-0


Edinson Cavani is a star in his own right at Paris St Germain and Forlan has a career of highlights behind him but neither man could replicate the kind of magic Suarez brings to so many occasions.

On this evidence, England would fancy themselves to keep both shackled when they meet in Brazil next month, despite Forlan likening them to Northern Ireland.