Despite its small population, Uruguay's proud World Cup history including trophies in 1930 and 1950 and a fourth place finish in 2010 means fans' expectations are high, and Tabarez said nothing to dampen their enthusiasm.
"I have to repeat it time and time again, " Santos said.
Uruguay switched from the usual 4-4-2 formation to a more fluid 4-3-2-1 against Russian Federation and reaped the benefits, but Oscar Tabarez will probably revert to type in expectation of a low-scoring game.
"There is no single player that can contain him, not Godin or whoever".
"Cristiano Ronaldo is the leader of their team".
Portugal have amassed the same number of fouls, but they have collected six yellow cards compared to Uruguay's one.
Godin has committed just three fouls in the tournament so far while Ronaldo has been brought down 13 times.
Uruguay and Portugal will come to blows for a place in the quarter-finals of Russian Federation 2018 on Saturday night and more cynical antics are expected. Portugal are so far unbeaten in their two previous meetings (W1 D1). However, they have lost their last three games in the World Cup knockout stages (one goal scored, five conceded).
Uruguay, meanwhile, go into the knockout stages aiming to win their third World Cup, and first since 1950, in Russian Federation.
Uruguay will be looking to win their opening four games at a World Cup for only the second time after 1930, when they won the first ever World Cup. Meanwhile, three of Portugal's last four goals have come from outside the box.
Luis Suarez has scored seven World Cup goals for Uruguay, second only to Oscar Miguez (8) - Suarez scored a brace against South Korea in his only previous World Cup appearance in the round of 16 back in 2010.
Ronaldo has been in devastating form in Russian Federation, scoring four goals to help European champions and Group B runners-up Portugal reach the knockout rounds. However, he did score a hat-trick against Spain in his previous game at Sochi's Fisht Stadium.
"Nine of the (Portugal) players on the pitch (in their last game) are European champions".
Portugal head coach Fernando Santos. Portugal sneaked into the knockout stage after almost losing to Iran in its third group stage match.
Uruguay remind me so much of Atletico Madrid. "He earned the captaincy for his achievements and his commitment and his example, and in a certain way he represents the very best of a nation like Uruguay". We are fully motivated and we have to be calm knowing that if it goes wrong then we have given everything.
Away from the first game against Spain, Portugal haven't been great.