Sunday 22 April 2018

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Uruguay scouting report: LOCATION: South America,POPULATION: 3.34m

TROPHY CABINET: 2 World Cups (1930, 1950), 14 Copa America titles (last 1995), 2 Olympic gold medals (1924, 1928)


FORM SINCE THE WORLD CUP: Indonesia 1 Uruguay 7, China 0 Uruguay 4, Chile 2 Uruguay 0, Estonia 2 Uruguay 0.

STAR ATTRACTION: He hasn't lit up La Liga since his World Cup heroics, but Atletico Madrid forward Diego Forlan is still worth watching. Despite not making the grade at Manchester United he's become a powerful all-rounder who led his club to the Europa League last season and his country to the semi-finals last summer.

LEADER OF MEN: Forlan and his striking partner Luis Suarez (right) may have grabbed the headlines in South Africa last summer, but skipper Diego Lugano was another stand-out performer. The 31-year-old Fenerbahce centre-half is the rock on which the national side is built.

ONE TO WATCH: Napoli striker Edinson Cavani has been touted as the next big signing for Manchester City. The 24-year-old has scored 22 goals in 30 appearances in Serie A this season.

WISH YOU WERE HERE: Liverpool's Suarez has brightened things up on Merseyside since his January move from Ajax, but a groin injury sustained against Sunderland rules him out.

THE GAFFER: Oscar Tabarez is known as El Maestro (The Teacher). The 64-year-old mastermind of Uruguay's unlikely World Cup run is in his second stint with the national team.

WORKING TOWARDS: The 2011 Copa America takes place across the border in Argentina in July and Uruguay will be looking to build on their World Cup showing by winning the Copa for the first time since 1995. They face Peru, Mexico and Chile in their group.

Irish Independent

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