World Cup Team Profile - Uruguay
Coach: Oscar Tabarez
Captain: Diego Lugano (West Brom, most recently)
Full Uruguay Roster
The Road to Rio: For a team that is a defending semifinalist, the Uruguayans cut their qualification finer than they probably would have liked. They finished in the middle of the nine-team CONMEBOL qualification ladder by being almost perfectly average.
They managed 25 points out of a possible 48 and scored exactly as many goals as they would concede over the 16 games, also 25. It was a double-pronged problem as they were largely unable to score on the road (five goals in eight games, winning just once) while allowing far too many goals at home (nine in eight matches, including multiples to Bolivia and Peru). The result would force them into a playoff against Asian hopefuls Jordan.
That playoff would get out of hand – in Uruguay’s favour – very quickly. They dumped five goals into the Jordanian net in Amman, leaving them free to head back to Montevideo with little to do other than avoid a blowout. They settled for a scoreless draw and coasted to the World Cup with a 5-0 aggregate victory.
Last World Cup appearance: South Africa 2010 (Fourth Place)
First World Cup appearance: Uruguay 1930 (Champions)
Previous World Cup appearances: 11
Best World Cup finish: Champions (2 - Uruguay 1930, Brazil 1950)
Coming off a fourth-place finish at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Uruguay has designs on improving their finish in Brazil and they just might have the skill to achieve that goal.
The most important news for Uruguay is the confirmed health of world class striker Luis Suarez. He suffered a knee injury in Liverpool’s season closing victory over Newcastle and was forced to have surgery before the tournament. He was the best player in the Barclays Premier League this season and, if he can carry his form into the World Cup tournament, he will be an impact player and a threat to anyone his side faces.
Head coach Oscar Tabarez will take a veteran squad to Brazil which will feature along with Suarez, defender Diego Lugano who was recently released from BPL side West Bromwich Albion and Atletico Madrid’s Diego Godin who scored his side’s only goal in the Champions League final. They will be a team that will rely on scoring from defence to help supplement their forward contingent.
The Liverpool talisman will not be their only upfront attacking threat, Diego Forlan, who now plays for Cerezo Osaka in Japan, is one of the most experienced players in the tournament and, provided he doesn’t run out of legs, could be the key man at the key time for Uruguay. Edinson Cavani, striker for Paris Saint-Germain, has the skill to finish in front of the net when Suarez creates the trouble with his great skill on the ball.
Their problems will come on defence, as they will give up a lot of goals hoping, in the end, they can convert their chances and outscore the many mistakes they will give up in the back.
La Celeste will be in tough against both Italy and England, with Costa Rica as the fourth team trying to spring an upset and turn this entire group on its side. If Uruguay are at the top of their game, they will always be entertaining even if they don’t end up being successful.