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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Luis Suarez back for Uruguay after ban, Guillermo Varela called up

Luis Suarez scored on his last Uruguay appearance in a 3-3 draw with Costa Rica in November 2014.

Luis Suarez is set to make his first competitive appearance for Uruguay since the 2014 World Cup following the expiry of his international ban, while Manchester United's Guillermo Varela has received a first call-up.

Uruguay boss Oscar Tabarez has included Suarez and Varela in his preliminary 28-man squad for the World Cup 2018 qualifiers against Brazil on March 25 and Peru on March 29.

Barcelona forward Suarez was banned from appearing in competitive internationals for nine games, as well as receiving a four-month ban that prevented him playing competitive games for his club, after he bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during the group stage at the tournament on June 24, 2014.

The striker made three non-competitive appearances for Uruguay in October and November 2014 but had not been recalled since.

United right-back Varela made his long-awaited debut for United against West Ham United in December, then started for the first time at Wolfsburg three days later. He has gone on to make a total of eight appearances so far this season, including a recent run of four starts in a row, during which United have won every game.

The 22-year-old, who was on loan at Real Madrid's Castilla side last season, now has his sights set on reaching triple figures of appearances for United. He also revealed that he is being spurred on because he is "popular" with the fans, but admits that his recent workload has been "hard" on his legs.

Varela told MUTV: "I'm very happy with a run of four matches in the side and four victories as well. I feel enormous pride in being able to play for a club like Manchester United. I think the important thing is that we keep working, and I want to keep working to keep a regular place in the team so that, in time, I can reach 50, 100 or 200 games in the shirt.

"I can say that it's only recently I realised how the love you get on social media has such an effect. I'm so popular with the fans but I also want to talk about the effect it has on me. It's only when you realise the scale of it [that you can appreciate it], and I want to say thanks to all of those people who are supporting me, it helps to drive me forward and motivates me to produce my best on the pitch.

"I think my main task is to keep working on a day-by-day basis to show the coach that I am a candidate for a regular first-team spot. I wouldn't say I'm an automatic pick now, that would be a bit premature.

"Over-tired would be the best word [to describe how I'm feeling at the moment]. It's been very hard on my legs."

ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent, Arindam Rej, contributed to this report.


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