Former Middlesbrough forward Cristhian Stuani has told the Spanish media he hopes for a “great year” in 2018 by making Uruguay’s squad for the World Cup.

The 30 year old left Middlesbrough in the summer for Spanish side Girona, following the club’s relegation to the Championship.

This week Uruguay underlined their place for next year’s World Cup in Russia by finishing second in the South America qualifying table. Stuani represented his country in Brazil just over three years ago, and now its possible he could get another chance on the biggest stage.

Speaking to Marca about their qualification, Stuani said: “I think the selection is in a great moment and we have met our goal to qualify.”

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Stuani spent two years at Middlesbrough after signing from Espanyol in 2015. The attacker went on to play 59 league games for the Riverside club, before his departure in the summer.

The player had a good relationship with the Middlesbrough fans, and exited the club on good terms, perhaps unlike his former teammates Marten de Roon and Gaston Ramirez.

If Stuani is selected for Oscar Tabarez’s squad next summer he’ll become the first Girona player to appear at the World Cup, and it’s something he would have struggled more to achieve with Middlesbrough in the Championship.