History in the World Cup
This is the 13th time Uruguay have qualified for the World Cup. The South Americans are no strangers to this tournament having won it twice, in 1930 when they hosted the tournament, and in 1950. After winning it 1930, they bizarrely refused to play in the tournament until 1950 where they went on to win it again. Since then, they have been regulars in the competition, participating in 1954(4th place),1962(Group Stage),1966(Quarter Finals),1970(4th Place),1974(Group Stage), 1986 and 1990(both Round of 16),2002(Group Stage),2010(4th) and 2014(Round of 16). Uruguay have generally done well in this competition and are the strongest team on paper in their group - anything less than a quarter-final finish will leave them disappointed.
Uruguay have played 12 competitive matches since the start of 2017 and their form has been mixed. While they started out 2017 with 4 straight losses, to Chile, Brasil, Peru, and Ireland, their form has improved over time - they have lost just once while winning 4 times and drawing three. They held the 2014 World Cup finalists Argentina to a 0-0 draw, indicating that they can compete with the big boys. They have also had impressive wins against Paraguay, Wales, Czech Republic and Bolivia.
Manager: Oscar Tabarez
Goalkeepers: Fernardo Muslera, Martin Silva, Martin Campaña
Defenders: Maxi Pereira, Guillermo Varela, Jose Maria Gimenez, Diego Godin, Sebastian Coates, Martin Caceres, Gaston Silva
Midfielders: Matias Vecino, Giorgian De Arrascaeta, Rodrigo Bentancur, Nahitan Nandez, Cristian Rodriguez, Diego Laxalt, Lucas Torreira, Carlos Sanchez, Gaston Ramirez
Forwards: Cristhian Stuani, Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, Maxi Gomez
It would have been easy to mention Suarez, Cavani or Godin but Turkish club Galatasaray's goalkeeper, Fernando Muslera, will be the key to Uruguay's fortunes. The 6 foot 3 goalkeeper is agile, possesses quick reflexes and is also excellent at punching and catching crosses. This season he has had 12 clean sheets and was named the best goalkeeper of the Turkish Super Lig in 2012. World Cup winning teams, in the recent past, have been those that display defensive control. Given Uruguay's form & the quality they have going forward, their performances in this tournament will primarily be decided by how many goals they can keep out - even a single mistake from Muslera could cause the South Americans to go crashing out.
Rankings FIFA- 17(Current) 2(High) ELO- 13(Current) 1(High)
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