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SquadEdit

Goalkeepers: Rodrigo Munoz (Libertad), Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Silva (Vasco da Gama)

Defenders: Martin Caceres (Juventus), Sebastian Coates (Liverpool), Jorge Fucile (Porto), Jose Maria Gimenez (Atletico Madrid), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Diego Lugano (West Brom), Alvaro Pereira (Inter), Maxi Pereira (Benfica)

Midfielders: Egidio Arevalo (Tigres UANL), Walter Gargano (Parma), Alvaro Gonzalez (Lazio), Nicolas Lodeiro (Botafogo), Diego Perez (Bologna), Gaston Ramirez (Southampton), Cristian Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid)

Forwards: Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain), Diego Forlan (Cerezo Osaka), Abel Hernandez (Palermo), Cristhian Stuani (Espanyol), Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

Uruguay
Edit

Team ProfileEdit

Uruguay will return to the scene of their most famous triumph when they arrive in Brazil bidding to claim a third FIFA World Cup title.

Heading into the final match against the hosts in 1950, Uruguay were one point behind their opponents and needed a win to upset a partisan home crowd.

One of football's most iconic stadiums, the Maracana, was stunned as Uruguay recovered from Friaca's 47th-minute opener, claiming the title thanks to goals from Juan Alberto Schiaffino and Alcides Ghiggia inside the final 25 minutes.

The result shocked a reported crowd of around 200,000 in what Brazilians now refer to as Maracanazo (roughly translated as the Maracana blow).

That result also secured Uruguay's second World Cup success, after they had tasted victory on home soil in the inaugural competition in 1930.

On that occasion, Uruguay progressed to a final against South American neighbours Argentina, in which they came from 2-1 down at half-time to win 4-2 at the Estadio Centenario in the capital Montevideo.

A nation of roughly 3.5million people, Uruguay takes pride in its ability to produce some of the best players on the planet and continuously defy the odds.

That fighting spirit is manifested through 'garra charrua' - a win-at-all-costs mentality - but after those two early successes, Uruguay's World Cup fortunes took a turn for the worse.

They failed to qualify for five out of eight tournaments between 1978 and 2006 and never made it past the last 16 during that period.

However, four years ago in South Africa, a Uruguay team inspired by Diego Forlan went all the way to the semi-finals before being losing 3-2 to the Netherlands, and then suffering defeat against Germany  by the same scoreline in the third-place play-off.

At the age of 35, Forlan is now set to take his final bow on the world stage.

While he will hope to make his mark, greater responsibility is likely to be shouldered by fellow forwards Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, who – together with Forlan – have helped make Uruguay a real force to be reckoned with.

The experienced Forlan had to be content with a supporting role from the bench in the latter stages of Uruguay's qualifying campaign, as Suarez and Cavani were preferred by Oscar Tabarez - a coach enjoying his second spell in charge after overseeing the 1990 finals in Italy.

Uruguay finished fifth in the CONMEBOL group, but had little trouble in coming through an intercontinental play-off with Jordan. Cavani grabbed the last goal in a 5-0 first-leg win before a scoreless draw in Montevideo secured the last spot at the 2014 finals.

Suarez and Cavani head into the World Cup having displayed superb form at club level for Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain respectively.

However, Uruguay were given a scare in the weeks leading up to the tournament when Suarez was forced to undergo minor knee surgery, leaving question marks over whether he would regain full fitness for his country's Group D opener against Costa Rica.

Italy and England represent the other group-stage opposition for Tabarez's men, who are unlikely to have any problems coping with hot and humid conditions in Brazil.

Should the likes of Suarez and Cavani fire, it would be foolish to rule out Uruguay as they seek to repeat the events of 64 years ago and leave Brazil in shock once more.


Player Profile (Luis Suarez)Edit

Position: Forward
Date of Birth: January 24, 1987
Club: Liverpool
International Debut: v Colombia (February 8, 2007)
World Cup Appearances: 6
World Cup Goals: 3

Supporters of Uruguay can be forgiven for expecting great things from Luis Suarez at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The 27-year-old enters the global showpiece in arguably the form of his career, having delivered a series of sensational displays for Liverpool during the recently concluded Premier League season.

Suarez - who is facing a race against time to be fit to feature in Brazil following a minor knee operation - had already made a significant impression at Anfield prior to the 2013-14 campaign, scoring 51 goals in two and a half seasons and offering much more besides in terms of creativity and work-rate to earn hero status among Liverpool supporters.

Yet the former Nacional, Groningen and Ajax forward hit new heights as a key part of Liverpool's Premier League title push.

Apparently eager to make up for lost time following a suspension that forced him to miss six matches in all domestic competitions at the start of the campaign, Suarez swiftly emerged as the driving force behind Liverpool's championship challenge, scoring with outstanding frequency and tormenting defences with his trickery.

A prolific season was highlighted by 10 goals in the space of four Premier League games in December, and Suarez will now hope that he can overcome his fitness concerns to have a similar influence as his country look to follow up a fourth-place finish at the last World Cup.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the disciplinary issues that have tarnished his otherwise impressive career to date - including bans for biting and racial abuse - Suarez found himself at the centre of controversy in South Africa four years ago.

He was sent off in Uruguay's quarter-final against Ghana after deliberately handling on the line to prevent Dominic Adiyiah from scoring, and then celebrated on the touchline when Asamoah Gyan blasted the resulting spot-kick against the crossbar.

Uruguay ultimately prevailed on penalties to reach the semi-finals, but they were then knocked out by the Netherlands in Suarez's absence before suffering a second successive 3-2 defeat against Germany in the third-place play-off.

Prior to the Ghana fixture, Suarez had impressed at the 2010 tournament, scoring three goals - including two in a second-round win over South Korea - to ensure Oscar Tabarez's men made it beyond the last 16 for the first time since 1970.

Suarez is now Uruguay's leading international goalscorer, having surpassed the tally of veteran team-mate and record cap holder Diego Forlan, while he found the net 11 times in qualifying for the World Cup - more than any other player in the South American section.

Suarez has already shown he is able to deliver for Uruguay on a major stage, winning the player of the tournament award when the nation triumphed in the 2011 Copa America.

Uruguay's hopes of reaching the knockout rounds could well be determined by his impact against familiar faces when England provide the opposition in Sao Paulo on June 19, with Costa Rica and Italy the other teams in Group D.

England captain Steven Gerrard is certainly more aware than most of the threat his Liverpool team-mate poses, having witnessed him at close quarters - and he has an ominous warning for the rest of the teams in Brazil.

"He is relentless. He doesn't give up, no matter what the scoreline is," said the Anfield captain in December.

"On current form, he is the best player in the world."

News SourcesEdit

Uruguayan FA http://www.auf.org.uy/  

Twitter: @AUFOficial

El Pais http://www.elpais.com.uy/

La Republica http://www.lr21.com.uy/deportes

Ovacion radio station http://www.ovaciondigital.com.uy/