La Celeste have a rich and illustrious history in the beautiful game having hosted and winning the inaugural World Cup in 1930. Their second title in 1950 still breaks Brazilian hearts nearly 64 years later, the last time Brazil were the host nation.
Their current squad is described as a golden generation of sorts for the modern game, their strength undoubtedly in the final third. With the legendary Diego Forlan (Cerezo Osaka) making his final World Cup appearance at the age 35, there could be an opportunities for 23-year-old Abel Hernández (Palermo) or Christian Stuani (Espanyol) to stake their claim for the future. The always-enigmatic supervillain Luis Suarez (Liverpool) was top scorer during CONMEBOL qualifications with 11 goals.
Suarez went under the knife in mid-May but expects to fully recover from knee surgery before their opening match on June 14. Edinson Cavani (PSG) has been making waves around Europe since his blockbuster deal to PSG last summer. Cavani with his presence and Suarez with his prowess, every back line in group D will have their collective hands full. But these two behemoths have shown that they struggle if they are isolated and denied service from the midfield.
Gaston Ramirez (Southampton) and Cristian Rodriguez (Botafogo) will be utilized as wide players or placed possibly set higher on the pitch to allow Suarez to roam. Midfielder pairings of Nicolas Lodeiro (Corinthians) and Egidio Arévalo Rios (Morelia) will have the difficult task of defending territory in the center of the park and shepherding the frail back line.
With Captain Diego Lugano (currently unattached) seeing out his final World Cup, Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid) will have the opportunity to build upon an exceptional season protecting Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray) in goal. The sluggish pairing will require assistance from fullbacks Maxi Pereira (Benefica) and Martín Cáceres (Juventus), both of whom played pivotal roles in obtaining their respected clubs domestic league titles.
Written by Kyle Hufnagel
La Celeste’s opening match in Fortaleza on June 14 will be against Costa Rica (6 wins, 2 draws) before meeting England (4 wins, 3 draws, 3 losses) in São Paulo on June 19 and Italy (2 wins, 4 draws, 2 losses) in Natal on June 24.
Uruguay 23 Man Squad:
1 Fernando MUSLERA Goalkeeper, Galatasaray SK (TUR)
2 Diego LUGANO Defender, West Bromwich Albion FC (ENG)
3 Diego GODIN Defender, Atletico Madrid (ESP)
4 Jorge FUCILE Defender, FC Porto (POR)
5 Walter GARGANO Midfielder, Parma FC (ITA)
6 Alvaro PEREIRA Midfielder, Sao Paulo FC (BRA)
7 Cristian RODRIGUEZ Midfielder, Atletico Madrid (ESP)
8 Abel HERNANDEZ Forward, US Citta di Palermo (ITA)
9 Luis SUAREZ Forward, Liverpool FC (ENG)
10 Diego FORLAN Forward, Cerezo Osaka (JPN)
11 Cristhian STUANI Forward, RCD Espanyol (ESP)
12 Rodrigo MUNOZ Goalkeeper, Club Libertad (PAR)
13 Jose GIMENEZ Defender, Atletico Madrid (ESP)
14 Nicolas LODEIRO Midfielder, Botafogo FR (BRA)
15 Diego PEREZ Midfielder, Bologna FC (ITA)
16 Maximiliano PEREIRA Defender, SL Benfica (POR)
17 Egidio AREVALO Midfielder, CA Monarcas Morelia (MEX)
18 Gaston RAMIREZ Midfielder, Southampton FC (ENG)
19 Sebastian COATES Defender, Club Nacional de Football (URU)
20 Alvaro GONZALEZ Midfielder, SS Lazio (ITA)
21 Edinson CAVANI Forward, Paris Saint-Germain FC (FRA)
22 Martin CACERES Defender, Juventus FC (ITA)
23 Martin SILVA Goalkeeper, CR Vasco da Gama (BRA)