Diego Godín Now Most Capped Uruguayan Of All Time, A Fitting Record For An Absolute Monster
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Uruguay thumped Thailand 4-0 Monday to capture the 2019 China Cup, but the real story of the match was captain Diego Godín collecting his 126th cap for la Celeste, making him the record holder in that department for the two-time world champions.
Godín made his debut for Uruguay in 2005 at the age of 19, and he’s since gone on to represent his nation at three World Cups (’10, ’14 and ’18) and four Copa Américas (’07, ’11, ’15 and ’16). The Atlético Madrid man has scored eight goals for his country — none bigger than the header against Italy during the 2014 World Cup to send Uruguay to the Round of 16.
More recently, Godín was imperious at the 2018 World Cup during his nation’s run to the quarterfinals. La Celeste went through the group stage without conceding a goal, and then Godín played a massive role in shutting down a Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal in the Round of 16.
For his performances in Russia, the center back was named to the FIFA World Cup Dream Team and later given a spot in the 2018 IFFHS Men’s World Team XI alongside Marcelo, Sergio Ramos and Raphaël Varane in defense.
“I do not want to enter into controversy but the other day [some journalists] told me that Sergio Ramos was a ‘crack’ and I told them, ‘No, the one who is a crack is Diego Godin.’” said Diego Maradona during the World Cup. “For how he plays the ball, his strength, and how he controls the game from his position — that, yes, is a real crack.”
Although 33, Godín remains a pillar for the national team. The likes of José Giménez, Lucas Torreira, Gastón Pereiro and Maxi Gómez represent the future for Uruguay, but Godín and fellow international stalwarts Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani will all come together — perhaps for the last time — at this summer’s Copa América in Brazil. This will be the third Copa in which Godín will serve as his nation’s captain.
— Selección Uruguaya (@Uruguay) March 24, 2019
At the club level, Godín has been synonymous with the reign of Diego Simeone at Atlético. The club’s miserly defense has been anchored by the Uruguayan for the last nine years, and Atlético’s 2013-14 LaLiga triumph — captured even though Ronaldo scored 31 goals for Real Madrid and Lionel Messi bagged 28 for Barcelona — is really no less remarkable than Leicester City’s 2015-16 Premier League fairly tale.
It was Godín’s incredibly clutch header against Barcelona that captured the title that season.
But all good things must come to an end, and the 33-year-old has agreed to join Inter Milan on a free transfer this summer. He’s reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with the Italian giants.