GROUP A: Can Uruguay make the most of their play-off qualification?

They nearly didn’t make it after finishing fifth in South American qualifying but can Uruguay make the most of their play-off win and achieve success in South Africa?

They nearly didn’t make it after finishing fifth in South American qualifying but can Uruguay make the most of their play-off win and achieve success in South Africa?

Oscar Tabarez has completed the first stage by getting the team to the World Cup finals following Jorge Fossati’s failure four years ago but it means nothing to a proud football nation such as Uruguay if they don’t make it past the initial phase.

France will be favoured to top Group A with second place left to either Mexico or La Celeste but if the likes of Diego Forlan, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani can continue their great goalscoring form at club level, then anything is possible for the two-time world champions.

Uruguay

Playing schedule: France (Cape Town) June 11; South Africa (Tshwane/Pretoria) June 16; Mexico (Rustenburg) June 22

Also known as: Charruas or La Celeste (The Sky Blue)
Manager: Oscar Tabarez (URU)
Captain: Diego Lugano
Key players: Diego Forlan, Luis Suarez, Diego Perez
Wildcard: Nicolas Lodeiro
Player to watch: Edinson Cavani
Most caps: Rodolfo Rodriguez (79). Of this squad: Diego Forlan (63)
Top goalscorer:Hector Scarone (31). Of this squad: Sebastian Abreu (30)
FIFA ranking: 16
Qualifying: Play-off win after CONMEBOL group stage. Defeated Costa Rica.
Appearance: 11th
Best result: Winners – 1930 & 1950

Uruguay squad

Goalkeepers

Fernando Muslera (Lazio)
Juan-Guillermo Castillo (Cali)
Martin Silva (Defensor Sporting)

Defenders

Diego Lugano (Fenerbahce)
Diego Godin (Villarreal)
Andres Scotti (Colo Colo)
Jorge Fucile (Porto)
Martin Caceres (Juventus)
Mauricio Victorino (Universidad de Chile)
Maximiliano Pereira (Benfica)

Midfielders

Walter Gargano (Napoli)
Egidio Arevalo-Rios (Penarol)
Sebastian Eguren (AIK Stockholm)
Diego Perez (Monaco)
Alvaro Pereira (Porto)
Alvaro Fernandez (Universidad de Chile)
Ignacio Gonzalez (Valencia)
Nicolas Lodeiro (Ajax)

Forwards

Sebastian Fernandez (Banfield)
Luis Suarez (Ajax)
Diego Forlan (Atletico Madrid)
Sebastian Abreu (Botafogo)
Edinson Cavani (Palermo)

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