Uruguay finished 2nd in the CONMEBOL qualification group with 10 points adrift of group leaders Brazil to book their place in the World Cup for a 13th time. They were champions of the inaugural 1930 edition and for a second time in the fourth edition in 1950. The team never reached the final since, the closest they got was semifinal appearances in three later editions, the latest in 2010.
Uruguay are drawn in Group A alongside host nation, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia for the 2018 edition. The Sky Blue have made it past the group stage in 9 different occasion and are expected to do same in Russia. And without a doubt, they are pre-tournament favourites to win the group in style.
In preparation for the tournament in Russia, the sky blue participated and won the china cup but failed to win in two international friendly games against Austria, and Poland since.
The Sky Blues are blessed with some great talents especially at the final third of the pitch and the latest slump in form is nothing but a temporary thing.
Luis Suarez is known for many things, ranging from an evil hand drama against Ghana in South Africa 2010, to biting scenes both at club and national level. Amidst the controversies, there is no doubt on this Barcelona star’s scoring ability. Suarez is Uruguay’s leading scorer with 50 goals from 97 appearances.
His partnership with Edison Cavani will vital to the team if they are to make a deep run in the competition. The PSG striker is the team’s second highest goal-scorer with 42 goals from 100 appearances. Cavani is coming on the back of a productive season with the Ligue 1 club; and he was the top scorer in South American qualifiers with 10 goals for the national side.
The two other players that stand out is Diego Godin and Maximiliano Pereira, who will be the key men at the heart of denfense. They are the two most capped Uruguayan internationals with 115 and 124 appearances respectively.
To sum up, Oscar Tabarez has vastly experienced players in all departments and a couple of youngsters looking to break into the national set-up. The 19-year old Federico Valverde is the most prominent in the list, the player owned by Real Madrid is coming after playing 24 matches this season on loan at the relegated Deportivo La Coruna.
History of Uruguay at FIFA World Cup
Champions: 1930, 1950
Fourth Placed Finishes: 1954, 1970 and 2010.
At Brazil 2014: Eliminated in the round of 16 by Colombia.