Uruguay Team Fact Box

2010-05-12 14:08
Previous appearances in finals: 10

Nickname: La celeste (The "sky blue")

Best performance:
Winners in 1930 and 1950
Fourth: 1954 and 1970

Coach: Oscar Washington Tabarez. In his second spell in charge having coached Uruguay at the 1990 finals in Italy where they reached the second round before losing to the hosts. Managed to coax winning performances out of his side against Colombia and Ecuador after all looked lost when they went down 1-0 away to a poor Peru.

Captain: Diego Lugano

Key players:

Diego Lugano
Age: 29
Position: Defender
Club: Fenerbahce
FIFA World Cup Qualifier appearances: 25 (2006, 2010)
Goals: 4

Rugged defender in the traditional Uruguayan mould who leads the team by example, often up at the attacking end playing a part in goals. Sought by leading clubs in Europe and Argentina.

Diego Forlan
Age: 30
Position: Striker
Club: Atletico Madrid
FIFA World Cup Finals appearances: 1 (2002)
Goals: 1
FIFA World Cup Qualifier appearances: 31 (2006, 2010)
Goals: 13

The twice European Golden Boot winner top-scored for Uruguay in the qualifiers with seven goals including the last-gasp penalty winner in Ecuador that kept them in the fight.

FIFA world ranking May 2010: 21

How they qualified: Beat Costa Rica 2-1 on aggregate in the South America/CONCACAF playoff after finishing fifth in the South American group when they failed to overcome Diego Maradona's poor Argentina side at home in the Centenario.

Prospects: Hard to see Uruguay reaching the second round on current form but Tabarez has time to work young prospects Lodeiro and 19-year-old central defender Sebastian Coates into the side and improve their balance in attack. With his forwards not firing on all cylinders, he could also find room in his squad for two strikers who are in top-scoring form in the Argentine league, Santiago "Tank" Silva and Joaquin Boghossian.


Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan (C) is a key force in their attacking lineup. (AFP)
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