Experience is very much the name of the game in the Uruguay World Cup squad. Manager Diego Alonso named six players aged 35 years or over for the FIFA World Cup 2022. The squad contains both Uruguay’s most capped player and top scorer. The former is Diego Godín with 159 caps. The nation’s top scorer is Luís Suarez at 68 goals.
Combined, Suárez and Edinson Cavani have 267 caps and 126 goals. Each scored at least once dating back three World Cups to 2010. The pair join Godín, Martin Caceres and Fernando Muslera as players in the 2022 squad to also play in 2010. That team 12 years ago reached the semifinals of the competition. Moreover, these five players all featured in the 2011 Copa America side that won that title.
Clearly, these guys know how to win soccer matches.
Fresh from an embarrassing 1-0 loss to Iran in a friendly match last September, head coach Diego Alonso will be under no illusion about the scale of his task ahead. This is just the third time since 1974 that Uruguay does not have a manager named Oscar Tabárez entering a World Cup.
Diego Alonso – the new guy
A disastrous start to World Cup qualifying culminated in Tabárez’s sacking. In his stead came Diego Alonso. Alonso arrived after a spell in Major League Soccer with Inter Miami. He quickly steadied the ship and led La Celeste to four consecutive victories. Notably, he has come to rely on a new generation of stars.
Uruguay’s spine is arguably one of the strongest. Centerbacks José Giménez and Ronald Araújo, midfielders Federico Valverde, Rodrigo Bentacour and Lucas Torreira and strikers Darwin Nunez and Maxi Gomez all aged between 23 and 27 years and at the peak of their game.
This squad has experience on its side. Yet, it is no retirement home. This Diego Alonso’s Uruguay with a bit of Oscar Tabarez flavor. As a player, Alonso himself never made it to a World Cup squad – this is his chance to redeem himself.
The Uruguay World Cup squad
The 26-man FIFA World Cup 2022 Uruguay squad:
Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Sergio Rochet (Nacional), Sebastian Sosa (Independiente).
Defenders: Jose Luis Rodriguez (Nacional), Mathias Olivera (Napoli), Matias Vina (Roma), Jose Maria Gimenez (Atletico Madrid), Sebastian Coates (Sporting CP), Diego Godin (Velez Sarsfield), Guillermo Varela (Flamengo), Martin Caceres (LA Galaxy), Ronald Araujo (Barcelona).
Midfielders: Matias Vecino (Lazio), Federico Valverde (Real Madrid), Nicolas De La Cruz (River Plate), Facundo Pellistri (Manchester United), Lucas Torreira (Galatasaray), Manuel Ugarte (Sporting CP), Rodrigo Bentancur (Tottenham Hotspur).
Forwards: Luis Suarez (Nacional), Edinson Cavani (Valencia), Darwin Nunez (Liverpool), Agustin Canobbio (Athletico Paranaense), , Maxi Gomez (Trabzonspor), Facundo Torres (Orlando City), Giorgian De Arrascaeta (Flamengo).
PHOTO: IMAGO / GEPA pictures
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