Welcome back, football fans! We’re picking up the pace and ploughing through the remaining teams heading to Russia 2018 this summer. Hopefully by mid-June you’ll have a clear picture of the various squads and game styles that will be battling it out on the world stage.
If you’re not familiar with the Get to Know series, stop right here. It’s time to go back and explore some of the lesser-known teams before you get your teeth stuck into the major contenders.
For the rest of you, we’re heading back to South America. This is a country famed for its liberal policies, beautiful landscape and abundance of cows (4 for every 1 person!). The national football team are known as La Celeste, or The Blue Sky…
See where we’re going with this? Yep, this week we’re getting to know… Uruguay!
Location: South-east side of South America, bordered by Argentina, Brazil, the Atlantic Ocean and the Río de la Plata (a major river).
Capital City: Montevideo
Official Language: Spanish
Famous for: Relaxed way of life, being one of the most liberal countries in South America.
Fun Fact: They have the longest national anthem in the world, coming in at 105 bars and taking roughly 6 minutes to perform. Don’t worry, though, at major events (like the World Cup) they tend to only play a verse or two. If not, take it as an opportunity to top up the snacks and get the drinks in!
Road to the World Cup
Uruguay have a strong historical connection to this particular tournament. The first World Cup ever (held in 1930) was hosted and won by Uruguay. The team also went on to win it for a second time in 1950. For a nation with a relatively small population, this is a very impressive record.
The team made getting through qualifications look fairly easy. They secured the second place spot in the South American qualifiers (behind Brazil) by beating Bolivia 4-2. Uruguay certainly aren’t short of top quality players, and it will be interesting to see who actually makes the final squad this summer.
Players to Watch
This promising midfielder plays for Real Madrid’s B team and has recently been on loan to La Liga side Deportivo de La Coruña. He made his debut with the senior Uruguay team in September 2017. It’s already been a promising start, with Valverde getting his first international goal under his belt when he scored against Paraguay in the qualifiers.
The current team captain, Godín plays in centre-back position. In terms of his club career, he’s represented Spanish side Atlético Madrid since 2010. Having already played in two previous World Cups, this is a man with solid experience that should enable him to rally and inspire the younger players.
Uruguay aren’t exactly short of great strikers, but not many come close to Cavani (except maybe one…). This talented forward currently plays for French side Paris Saint-Germain, though rumours are circulating of a potential move to Chelsea. It would certainly be the English club’s gain—not only is he PSG’s all-time top scorer, in the recent CONMEBOL qualifiers he also finished as the top scorer overall. Definitely a top pick for our line-ups.
Last but certainly not least, Uruguay’s most famous player is possibly their best. Though often caught up in controversies (he has a penchant for taking a quick nibble of some of his opponents) you can’t dispute that this guy can play. Suárez currently spends his club career playing for Barcelona. He’s calmed down the antics a bit of late, so let’s hope talent is the only thing the striker brings to Russia!
Manager: Óscar Tabárez
FIFA Ranking: 21
What They Have Going For Them
- Self belief, great players, experience, confidence… etc. Looks like this team has a lot going for them!
- They’ve not drawn a bad group at all. Sure, all of these teams are strong, but we certainly fancy Uruguay’s chances. Playing against the home side could have it’s downside, but the rest of the teams shouldn’t have any of the players shaking in their studded boots.
As you can tell, we’re dealing with some of the big boys now. Do Uruguay have any chance of bagging a third World Cup? Who knows, but we wish them ¡buena suerte!
With plenty of countries still to go, this is already shaping up to be quite the tournament! Keep checking back with DailyFantasyUK for all the latest news and guides.