Uruguay has a special in the history of the World Cup. La Celeste won the first ever World Cup back in 1930, before winning their second title 20 years later beating host nation Brazil 2-1 in the final of the competition.
The South American nation has endured slightly leaner years in terms of the biggest tournament in world football of late. The small country to ever win a World Cup by population has struggled to make an impact at recent tournaments.
Since that 1950 triumph, the best that La Celeste have achieved is fourth place finishes in 1970 and 2010. World Cup 2018 represents a chance to at least match those achievements.
A fearsome front two
Uruguay have one of the most fearsome strike-forces in the competition, as PSG’s Edinson Cavani lines up alongside Barcelona’s Luis Suarez. Both have been prolific in club football in recent years. However, surprisingly Cavani has scored just once in 19 international outings.
In fact, Suarez is the country’s top scorer. The former Liverpool star did not enjoy the best scoring campaign of his life for the Catalan giants but still helped them to La Liga and Copa del Rey titles.
The pair are a highly potent partnership up front, who will cause any opposition defence endless problems. If they hit form in Russia then the South Americans will be hard to stop.
Solid defensive leader
At the other end of the pitch is the magnificent Diego Godin. The classy Atletico Madrid centre-back leads by example, as he is a man of few words. National team boss Oscar Tabarez has talked about how much he trusts the 32-year-old.
Godin’s sense of danger and positioning is simply fantastic. The experienced defender has been continuously linked with moves elsewhere but has stayed loyal to Atletico.
Alongside Godin in defence, the Uruguayans have the vastly improved Sebastian Coates and experienced defenders Martin Caceres and Maxi Pereira.
It would be remiss not to mention their talented young midfielders in Lucas Torreira and Rodrigo Bentancur, who play their club football in Serie A at Sampdoria and Juventus respectively.
Favourites to win their group
In terms of groups, the South Americans look to have been handed a kind draw, which in terms of quality they should top. However, boss Tabarez has urged caution and for his team not to be complacent in Russia.
La Celeste are in a group alongside hosts Russia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The group is an open one, as it does not contain a major European football force.
It is relatively open to who qualifies for the knockout stages, as all four teams will fancy their chances. Looking at the players available to boss Tabarez, Uruguay seems to have few weaknesses.
With so many talented nations at the World Cup, it will be hard for Suarez and co. to lift the trophy. However, they have triumphed against adversity in the past and should go deep into the competition this summer in Russia.
How far can Uruguay go at World Cup 2018?