Editorial (June 5, 2018) – Uruguay is always a team to have in mind before the start of a major tournament.
The South American country, with its 3 million inhabitants, is one of the teams anyone would want to play against.
Uruguay National Team: The Forgotten Candidate of the 2018 World Cup
Mostly because of their brave attitude. Uruguay never gives up, they fight until the end of the game and don’t expect less of them in the World Cup Russia 2018.
The coach Óscar Tabárez just released the final 23-man squad of players who will represent their country, and the names would scare any opponent.
Uruguay 23-Man Squad
In this team, 11 played in the 2014 edition of the tournament in Brazil, and seven of them reached the semifinals in South Africa 2010.
Here’s the squad:
Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Campana (Independiente), Martin Silva (Vasco da Gama).
Defenders: Martin Caceres (Lazio), Sebastian Coates (Sporting CP), Jose Maria Gimenez (Atletico Madrid), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Maximiliano Pereira (Porto), Gaston Silva (Independiente), Guillermo Varela (Penarol).
Midfielders: Giorgian De Arrascaeta (Cruzeiro), Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus), Diego Laxalt (Genoa), Nahitan Nandez (Boca Juniors), Cristian Rodriguez (Penarol), Carlos Sanchez (Monterrey), Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria), Matias Vecino (Inter), Jonathan Urretaviscaya (Monterrey).
Forwards: Edinson Cavani (Paris St-Germain), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Maximiliano Gomez (Celta Vigo), Cristhian Stuani (Girona).
La Celeste seem like an unstoppable team, a group of world-class footballers who play at the highest stage.
The best example is the attacking pair, comprised of Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani.
Suárez scored 31 times this season with Barcelona and ended up third in the top scorers of La Liga with 25 goals. Only Cristiano Ronaldo (26) and Lionel Messi (34) netted more than the Uruguayan in Spain.
Cavani was the top scorer in French Ligue 1 this year with 28 goals. He closed the season with 40 goals in total, and finished seventh in Europe in the race for the Golden Shoe.
Suárez and Cavani are prolific scorers, and without a doubt, they’re going to be a problem for their rivals.
On the other hand, there’s a compact defense capable of protecting at any cost.
Central defenders Diego Godín and José María Giménez are characterized to be two lions in the box. Their sacrifice made Atlético Madrid the team with the fewest goals allowed this season with 22.
It’s quite clear that Óscar Tabárez’s influence on this team is unquestioned. “El Maestro” reached his third consecutive World Cup with Uruguay, and is one of the keys to the success of the squad.
The wisdom transmitted by the 71-year-old coach will be fundamental in Uruguay’s run at Russia.
Tabaréz can be the coach who guides Uruguay to his third World Cup trophy, and this could be the year.
They Think They Can
Uruguay is an undeniable soccer power, with a consolidated group of players. But anyways, they are the forgotten candidates.
Maybe because their midfield is not in the catalog of the best in the world or the fact they probably will have to face off either Spain or Portugal in the knockout round.
Uruguay’s midfield has to perform at its best if they aspire to reach the greatest achievement in Russia.
Vecino, Betancourt, De Arrascaeta and Rodríguez have to play at their best and find Cavani or Suárez on the attacking side.
It’s important to note that Uruguay finished second in the CONMEBOL qualifying, just behind Brazil.
They still have a last game before the World Cup starts at Montevideo against Uzbekistan on June 7th.
Uruguay will face host Russia, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia in Group A. They are the candidates to win the group.