Diego Lugano: The Great Wall of Uruguay
The world's best attackers will need to be out their best to beat Diego Lugano
Born: Nov. 2, 1980, in Canelones, Uruguay
Clubs played for: Lugano spent time with Uruguayan sides Nacional and Plaza Colonia before moving to Sao Paulo in 2002 and establishing himself as the team's first-choice centre back. Lugano, with his unflappable composure, was a constant in the squad as the Tricolor Paulista (Three Colour) won the Copa Libertadores and the Club World Cup in 2005. Fenerbahce brought Totita to Turkey in 2006 and he has made nearly 100 appearances in four years for Sari Kanaryalar (The Yellow Canaries).
International career: Around the same time Lugano became a star in Sao Paulo's squad he also became a regular in Uruguay's defence. Since 2003, Totita has appeared 41 times and scored four goals for La Celeste Olímpica (The Olympic Sky Blue).
Why is he so special? A prototypical Uruguayan defender, even when an attacker is barreling down on him, Lugano stands tall — he only has his eyes on the ball and with two adept feet he can clear, cross and pass a ball with ease. Moreover, he can also use his talented feet at the opposite end of the pitch and unnerve his opposites numbers.
His most famous moment: Many Liverpool fans might argue that incorrect offside calls from Canadian referee Hector Vergara was the reason the Reds lost the 2005 Club World Cup 1-0 to Sao Paulo. But in fact, Lugano's stubbornness frustrated Liverpool's offence for 90 minutes.
He said it: " As a centre-back, I try to position myself well on the pitch. I try to use my physique and aerial strength as best as possible and try to time myself when coming out of the area to break down attacks."
What they're saying about him: "Lugano, in addition to what he always brings to the team, has leadership qualities." — Oscar Tabarez, Uruguay head coach.
Here's an interesting fact: Totita's idol growing up was former Uruguayan defender Hugo de Leon.