Diego Godin is making yet another stop in his hallowed career by emerging from retirement to play for a club in his home country. Porongos, a team in the Flores Capital Soccer League, recruited Diego Godin for its 2024 campaign. The former Uruguay international last played for Velez Sarsfield in Argentina’s Primera Division. Velez Sarsfield finished 25th in Godin’s only full season in the Argentine Primera.

That will not go down as one of Godin’s best moments of his career, of which he has had many. A LaLiga and Copa del Rey Champion with Atletico Madrid, Godin’s career took him to Spain, Italy and Brazil. He started that career in Uruguay, making over 100 appearances combined between Cerro and Nacional. That set the groundwork for what was also a success with the Uruguay national team.

Making his debut as a teenager in 2005, Godin played in the 2010, 2014 and 2018 World Cups. In 2010, Godin started the opening game against France. Then, he made four appearances as Uruguay went on to reach the semifinals of the tournament. That was Uruguay’s best finish at a World Cup in 40 years. Four years later, the center-back scored one of his eight goals for Uruguay in a group-stage game against Italy. Godin’s header was the only goal of the game, as Uruguay advanced to the knockout stages for the second tournament running. Then, in 2018, Godin featured in the World Cup Dream Team as one of the competition’s best players.

Remarkably, Godin made 161 appearances with the national team. That is the most in the history of Uruguay. The closest is Luis Suarez, who has 38 fewer appearances in the sky-blue kit of Uruguay.

A towering presence in the back line for club and country

Now at the age of 38, Godin’s best days are behind him. Regardless, it appears retirement did not suit the Uruguayan. Joining Porongos will not add massive silverware to Godin’s cabinet which already includes the Copa America. Instead, it raises the awareness of a semi-pro club. Porongos does not have a massive following on social media, but that did not stop it from making the most of this signing.

The club released a video to announce the signing that showed some of Godin’s best moments representing Uruguay. That included the odd goals in Godin’s rare forays into the offensive half of the field.

A new era for Uruguay

Known for his maturity and leadership for club and country, Godin was a captain at both Atletico Madrid and Uruguay. His retirement signaled a changing of the guard for the latter. Players like Luis Suarez, Diego Godin, Edinson Cavani and Maxi Pereira are no longer first-team players for La Celeste.

Godin has therefore seen Ronald Araujo, Darwin Nunez, Federico Valverde and Jose Maria Gimenez take over as the leaders of the national team. With such talent, Uruguay is back to being one of the top teams in South America over a decade after Diego Godin helped lift the Copa America in 2011.