Uruguay: World Cup 2014 Team Preview
Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Silva (Vasco da Gama), Rodrigo Munoz (Libertad).
Defenders: Maximiliano Pereira (Benfica), Diego Lugano (West Bromwich Albion), Diego Godin, Jose Maria Gimenez (both Atletico Madrid), Sebastian Coates (Liverpool), Martin Caceres (Juventus), Jorge Fucile (Porto).
Midfielders: Alvaro Gonzalez (Lazio), Alvaro Pereira (Sao Paulo), Walter Gargano (Parma), Egidio Arevalo Rios (Morelia), Diego Perez (Bologna), Cristian Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid), Gaston Ramirez (Southampton), Nicolas Lodeiro (Botafogo).
Forwards: Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Edinson Cavani (Paris St-Germain), Abel Hernandez (Palermo), Diego Forlan (Cerezo Osaka), Christian Stuani (Espanyol).
Best Ever Finish: Winners (1930, 1950)
Manager: Oscar Tabarez
Captain: Diego Lugano
Oscar Tabarez has pulled Uruguay out of footballing obscurity, and into the forefront of the world stage.
After having to rely on a play-off win over Jordan, Uruguay are now one of the dark-horses to reach the latter stages of the World Cup.
La Celeste are capable of producing magical, inter-flowing football between their regular front two of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.
They are able to trouble any team at the tournament with their explosive front two. Cavani is the battering ram and a stunning finisher. Suarez is the schemer, causing problems with his wonderful dribbling and phenomenal work-rate.
However, with their unreliable midfield, Uruguay tend to have an approach to games that is almost “we can score more than you”. If their strikers aren’t up to the task, this approach can be incredibly dangerous – as their five losses in qualifying demonstrate.
They remain a something of an unknown quality and as such it is hugely difficult to make an educated guess on what Tabarez’s team can achieve. Without the defensive soliditiy of the 2010 side though, it would be some effort if they were to repeat their fourth place finish from South Africa.
Key Player – Luis Suarez
Possessing pace, exquisite dribbling and a cool head in front of goal, Suarez is able to change the course of the game in an instant. Currently his country’s leading scorer of all time, he’ll line up within Uruguay’s fearsome front two.
If Uruguay can capitalise on Suarez’s mercurial streak and willingness to chase every ball, he should make up for their distinct lack of attacking talent in midfield. He’s grown into a genuine world class talent this season and if he can recover from an injury layoff ahead of the tournament, he’s one of the biggest candidates for the golden boot.