Uruguay - Team Profile
Hosts of the first World Cup, the Uruguayans were also the first country to lift the trophy in 1930
Uruguay’s Luis Suarez, El Pistolero, love him or hate, he’s some player. Photograph: Enrique Castro-Mendivil / Reuters
Manager: Oscar Tabarez
Best finish: Winners (1930, 1950)
World Cup record: P 51, W 20, D 12, L 19
Hosts of the first World Cup, the Uruguayans were also the first country to lift the trophy in 1930, having already won two Olympic tournaments in 1924 and 1928. Their greatest triumph came at the Maracana in 1950, when they beat Brazil 2-1 to claim a second World Cup. ‘El Maracanazo’ haunts Brazilians to this day. Success has been modest since but the intervening years still included two semi-finals, in 1970 and 2010.
While they have some supremely talented players, the core group is arguably not on the same level as those nations they regularly face competitively, so they are among the most defensive of the South American contingent, favouring a 4-4-2 with a tight and compact defensive unit, link-ed by Atletico Madrid’s Cristian Rodriguez to the explosiveness of Luis Suarez, assuming he is fit, and Edinson Cavani.
All Star - Luis Suarez
Oh, gawd, not him again. Well, maybe not as it happens because a knee injury has laid Suarez low, meaning Uruguay’s hopes have been severely dented. His rehabilitation from England’s public enemy number one to mere misfit is almost complete after a season of stunning form that saw him lead Liverpool’s unlikely title charge. Uruguay and the tournament will be a lot poorer without him at full tilt.
County Colours - Cavan
A force in the 30s and 50s but quare unfashionable since.
Uruguay’s qualifiers did not inspire confidence, but they rarely do. They’re a big-game team and, though they took one point from 18 in a worrying five-month spell, Tabarez’s side have resilience and look unlikely to be silenced easily. With Suarez, Uruguay definitely have what it takes to get out of Group D ahead of Italy, England and Costa Rica. After that, watch out.
Goalkeepers: 1 Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray, Tur), 12 Rodrigo Munoz (Libertad/Par), 23 Martin Silva (Vasco Da Gama/Bra).
Defenders: 2 Diego Lugano (West Brom, Eng), 3 Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid, Esp), 4 Jorge Fucile (Porto, Por), 13 Jose Maria Gimenez (Atletico Madrid, Esp), 16 Maximiliano Pereira (Benfica, Por), 19 Sebastian Coates (Nacional, Bra), 22 Martin Caceres (Juventus, Ita).
Midfielders: 5 Walter Gargano (Parma,Ita), 6 Alvaro Pereira (Sao Pablo, Bra), 7 Cristian Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid, Esp), 14 Nicolas Lodeiro (Botafogo, Bra), 15 Diego Perez (Bologna, Ita), 17 Egidio Arevalo-Rios (Morelia, Mex), 18 Gaston Ramirez (Southampton, Eng), 20 Alvaro Gonzalez (Lazio, Ita).
Forwards: 8 Abel Hernandez (Palermo, Ita), 9 Luis Suarez (Liverpool, Eng), 10 Diego Forlan (Cerezo Osaka, Jpn), 11 Cristian Stuani (Espanyol, Esp), 21 Edinson Cavani (PSG, Fra).
URUGUAY (v Costa Rica): 1 Fernando Muslera; 16 Maximiliano Pereira (rc), 2 Diego Lugano (yc), 3 Diego Godin, 22 Martin Caceres (yc); 11 Cristian Stuani, 5 Walter Gargano (yc) (20 Alvaro Gonzalez, 60 mins), 17 Egidio Arevalo-Rios, 7 Cristian Rodriguez (8 Abel Hernandez, 76 mins); 10 Diego Forlan (14 Nicolas Lodeiro, 60 mins), 21 Edinson Cavani.
URUGUAY (v England): 1 Fernando Muslera; 22 Martin Caceres, 13 Jose Maria Gimenez, 3 Diego Godin (yc), 6 Alvaro Pereira; 20 Alvaro Gonzalez (4 Jorge Fucile, 79 mins), 17 Egidio Arevalo-Rios. 7 Cristian Rodriguez; 14 Nicolas Lodeiro (11 Cristian Stuani, 67 mins); 21 Edinson Cavani, 9 Luis Suarez (19 Sebastian Coates, 88 mins).
URUGUAY (v Italy): 1 Fernando Muslera (yc); 20 Alvaro Gonzalez, 13 Jose Maria Gimenez, 3 Diego Godin, 22 Martin Caceres, 6 Alvaro Pereira (11 Cristian Stuani, 63 mins); 17 Egidio Arevalo-Rios (yc), 14 Nicolas Lodeiro (16 Maximiliano Pereira, half-time), 7 Cristian Rodriguez (18 Gaston Ramirez, 78 mins); 21 Edinson Cavani, 9 Luis Suarez.
URUGUAY (v Colombia): 1 Fernando Muslera; 16 Maximiliano Pereira, 13 Jose Maria Gimenez (yc), 3 Diego Godin, 22 Martin Caceres, 6 Alvaro Pereira (18 Gaston Ramirez, 53 mins); 20 Alvaro Gonzalez (8 Abel Hernandez, 67 mins), 17 Egidio Arevalo-Rios, 7 Cristian Rodriguez; 10 Diego Forlan (11 Cristian Stuani, 53 mins), 21 Edinson Cavani.