Uruguay

Quick Facts

Group: B (SpainTahitiNigeria)

FIFA ranking: 19

Confederation: CONMEBOL

Head coach: Oscar Tabarez

Best result: Fourth place in 1997

Qualification method: 2011 Copa America champion

First-round schedule: Spain (June 16 @ 6 p.m. ET), Nigeria (June 20 @ 6 p.m. ET), Tahiti (June 23 @ 3 p.m. ET)

Storylines

  • Best team in America? Oscar Tabarez’s squad has gone through a rough patch since winning the Copa America title in July 2011, and hasn’t been able to demonstrate the same high level of play it showed a couple of years ago. The Uruguayan group is in need of a positive run immediately, and a good performance during the Confederations Cup could be the last chance they have before the panic alarms start going off.
  • Comfortable in Brazil. Veteran striker Diego Forlan is no stranger to the intensity soccer brings to Brazil. The all-time most capped player and top goal scorer in Uruguay’s national team history joined Brazilian club Internacional in July 2012 and led it to its third straight Campeonato Gaucho with nine goals.  
  • Suarez associate. Uruguay’s special weapon in attack, Luis Suarez can demolish opposing defensive lines by himself. The striker’s scoring abilities are usually an edge that favours La Celeste, but if the South American champions want to go far in the tournament, someone else will need to step up and become Suarez’s sidekick. Stars like Forlan and Napoli’s Edinson Cavani should take on that role.  

Key player

Liverpool’s Luis Suarez is one of the most talented goal scorers in the world. The 26-year-old striker finished second in the English Premier League with 23 goals, only three behind leader Robin van Persie of Manchester United.

However, the Uruguayan star is not always in the spotlight for the right reasons. Two biting incidents and a racial abuse suspension raise questions about his commitment and discipline on the field.

Squad

  • Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray-TUR), Martin Silva (Olimpia-PAR), Juan Castillo (Danubio-URU)
  • Defenders: Andres Scotti (Nacional-URU), Maximiliano Pereira (Benfica-POR), Diego Lugano (Malaga-SPA), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid-SPA), Sebastian Coates (Liverpool-ENG), Martin Caceres (Juventus-ITA), Matias Aguirregaray (Penarol-URU)
  • Midfielders: Alvaro Gonzalez (Lazio-ITA), Alvaro Pereira, Walter Gargano (Inter Milan-ITA), Egidio Arevalo-Rios (Palermo-ITA), Diego Perez (Bologna-ITA), Cristian Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid-SPA), Gaston Ramirez (Southampton-ENG), Nicolas Lodeiro (Botafogo-BRA), Sebastian Eguren (Libertad-PAR)
  • Forwards: Luis Suarez (Liverpool-ENG), Edinson Cavani (Napoli-ITA), Diego Forlan (Internacional-BRA), Abel Hernandez (Palermo-ITA).