Current Fifa Ranking : 6th with 1132 points
World Cup Appearances : 1930, 1950, 1954, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1986, 1990, 2002 and 2010
Best Achievement : Winners in 1930 and 1950
Head Coach : Oscar Tabarez
Captain : Diego Lugano
Osar Tabarez’s Uruguay squad are definitely a tough side to beat after finishing in 4th place at both the 2010 World Cup and the 2013 Confederations Cup. Drawn into the group of death, their mettle will surely be tested, especially when up against Italy and England. They are contenders to top their group, yet will also need to prove themselves against the dangerous Costa Rica.
This will however be their hardest group stage test to date. Buffon and Pirlo’s Italy are always a tough team to beat in major tournaments, regardless of their humiliating defeat to Spain in the Euro 2012 final. Their other test will be England, who is in a state of desperation to prove to world football fans that they deserve a status among the best. In Sturridge, Wilshere and Walcott, England have the right mix of speed and talent, though they will need help from veterans Lampard and Gerrard. They will also be a tough nut to crack for Uruguay, though not an impossible one.
Uruguay’s main threat is also one of the most impressive strikers in world football at the moment, Luis Suarez. Following a tumultuous initial period with Liverpool, he has focused entirely on his football and has helped Liverpool resurface as a major force in England. In attack, Suarez is joined by PSG’s Edinson Cavani, whose ever industrious nature and knack for goal add to the threat they pose together. Galatasaray’s Fernando Muslera is the preferred option in goal, proven by his fearless actions for his club. In midfield, Tabarez has decent options at his disposal with Parma’s Walter Gargano, Southampton’s Gaston Ramirez and Inter Milan’s Alvaro Pereira. The team’s weak link may be their defence, even though West Brom’s Diego Lugano as captain and Atletico Madrid’s Diego Godin provide plenty of experience.
As stated previously, it will be very tough for Uruguay to top their group, yet not impossible. The group of death is extremely hard to predict as Uruguay, Italy and England all contain the prerequisites required to top a group, with Costa Rica lurking in the shadows. Chances are Uruguay will in fact progress to the knockouts, however one should not bet on them exceeding the quarter final stage.