Wednesday 22 November 2017

World Cup team preview: Uruguay

Uruguay's national soccer team players pose with members of the staff
Uruguay's national soccer team players pose with members of the staff

We're continuing through our World Cup team previews and today it's Uruguay.

The Uruguayans were a true global power in football prior to the 70s with World Cup triumphs to their name in 1930 and 1950 respectively.

Their run to the semis at Mexico in 1970 was their last major assault on the world most famous tournament.

Four years ago they announced themselves again on the international stage with a fourth-placed finish in South Africa.

Diego Forlan finished with the Golden Boot in 2010 and their success propelled them to victory in the Copa America in 2011.

After being drawn with England and Italy, one big name is sure to fall at the group stages.

Group D: England, Italy and Costa Rica

Tournament odds: 28/1

How they got here

La Celeste went into the South American qualifying competition for Brazil 2014 as firm favourites to progress but they struggled initially.

Two points from six games in 2012 but their hopes of qualifying in jeopardy but they managed to regroup enough to claim fifth spot in South American qualifying.

They took on Jordan in their intercontinental playoff a goalless draw in Montevideo followed a facile 5-0 win in Jordan and Uruguay advanced.

Key player

Luis Suarez shared the European Golden Boot Award with Cristiano Ronaldo on 31 league goals after missing the start of the season with Liverpool through suspension and is Uruguay's leading light.

Edinson Cavani can be devastating but lacks the guile and composure of Suarez.

Diego Godin will be their rock in central defence.

Uruguay's Luis Suarez. PA

Something you didn't know about Uruguay

There is a high standard of living in Uruguay. Many think of Uruguay as a third world country when in fact it has many of the same modern infrastructure of first world countries and a literacy rate of over 97pc.

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