Sebastian Coates talks John O'Shea, Luis Suarez, Liverpool spell and more

The Uruguay and former Liverpool defender chatted to Team 33's Raf Diallo

Raf Diallo, Sebastian Coates, Newstalk, Uruguay, Ireland

Raf Diallo and Sebastian Coates

When Liverpool bought Sebastian Coates in 2011, there were high expectations around his potential.

The tall centre back had been signed during Kenny Dalglish's tenure off the back of a summer when he had won the Young Player of the Tournament award as he helped his native Uruguay win the 2011 Copa America. 

He has long left Liverpool, with his career taking him to Sunderland between 2014 and 2017 and now Sporting Club de Portugal AKA Sporting Lisbon.

At the weekend, the 26 year old and his Uruguay team-mates were in Dublin ahead of last Sunday's friendly match against Ireland at Coates took time out to chat me on Newstalk's Team 33

You can listen to the full interview with Sebastian Coates on the podcast player below or stream for free on iTunes:

Coates had plenty of kind words for his former Sunderland team-mate John O'Shea, saying of the Irishman: "He's a leader - natural. I spent something like two years with him and he was great. I learned everything and he's a top man. He's really kind."

The Nacional youth graduate also touched on why his country consistently punches above its weight as a football nation and produces talent as elite as Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.

"When you're born in Uruguay, they give you a ball and the first sport in Uruguay is the football so everyone wants to play football. We play on the street or anywhere so maybe that's the case. Here [in Ireland] you have the rugby and you have other sports and in Uruguay you have football and then basketball but normally it's just football and maybe that's why we have a lot of players and top players," he suggested.

Suarez was also a team-mate at club level when the two were at Liverpool and the now Barcelona forward had arrived at Anfield just eight months before, meaning Coates at least had a compatriot to help him settle in.

(left-right) Liverpool's Sebastian Coates, Maxi Rodriguez and Luis Suarez celebrate with the trophy. Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

"It wasn't just Luis. There was also Maxi Rodriguez there and Lucas Leiva who is still there. We had a lot of South American players so for me was perfect to settle down and to adapt not just to the football but to the country. So it was good for me," he said, before reminiscing about his former captain Steven Gerrard.

"It was like a dream for me too because we saw many games from the Premier League [in Uruguay] and many games from the Champions League with Stevie, with Carra [Jamie Carragher]. So it was amazing and when I arrived, it was like I had played 10 years with him, so for me it was perfect to be there with them and to learn how they play, how they live so for me it worked perfect."

And unsurprisingly on Suarez, he added that he is "competitive in everything" on and off the field, even in small training games.

Team 33: A short Q&A with Uruguay and Atletico Madrid's Jose Gimenez