Darwin Nunez makes surprise return for Uruguay charity match – “I am very happy”

Darwin Nunez made his return to the pitch at the weekend, with an appearance as part of a charity game in his hometown Artigas in Uruguay.

A toe injury ruled Nunez out of the final three games of the season at Liverpool, while he was omitted from Marcelo Bielsa’s first Uruguay squad.

His absence for upcoming friendlies against Nicaragua and Cuba was not due to any fitness issue, though, with the former Leeds manager instead naming an experimental squad to test out new players.

The decision has allowed Nunez a lengthy break before the start of pre-season on Merseyside on July 8, and the striker has returned to his native Uruguay.

On Sunday, that saw him take part in a charity match in his hometown of Artigas, to collect food and clothes for impoverished families in the area.

Nunez emerged to rapturous applause from a large crowd at the Estadio Matias Gonzales, wearing the No. 9 shirt and gesturing to fans in thanks.

Tickets for the game, pitting a team put together by Nunez against Club Atletico Artigas, were available in exchange for food donations or a coat.

“The truth is that I am very happy,” the 23-year-old told Telenoche after the game.

“It is something very nice to see all these people who come to support the benefit game, with the boys who came out champions.

“I love coming to my land, and always being able to do my bit to help.”

Nunez, who left Uruguay for Portugal in 2019 after his breakthrough at Penarol in Montevideo, explained that he had not played at the Estadio Matias Gonzales in six years.

“I hope one day, when I retire, to return to Artigas and be able to play here and enjoy my family,” he admitted.