Don’t Sleep On South America’s Other Giant: Uruguay Can Shock The World

The usual South American suspects are dominating all the headlines so far this World Cup. How far will Neymar take Brazil? Are Lionel Messi and Argentina finally on form after squeaking through to the Round of 16? Even Colombia and its exciting play through Fernando Quintero and Falcao is garnering attention. However, lost in the chatter of those South American squads is a very exciting and solid Uruguay World Cup squad. 

Impressively, Uruguay has yet to concede a goal at this World Cup and has scored five in the first three group-stage matches. They topped their group, which featured a flourishing host nation in Russia, but Uruguay quickly put the Russians to the sword in the last group game, dismantling them 3-0. 

Up next for Uruguay is a daunting Round of 16 match against Cristiano Ronaldo and his European champion Portugal side. While most people would dread having to face CR7 and his upstart Portuguese side, maybe it should be the other way around and it should be Portugal that fears the upstarts from South America.

Uruguay is led in attack by the expected veteran strike force of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani. Suarez, while not having his best season at Barcelona this past year, is still one of the most lethal forwards in the world and already has two goals in the tournament. Cavani was Cavani this year at his club PSG. He was reliable and led Ligue 1 with 28 goals scored this past season, he already has one in this tournament.

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But Uruguay isn’t just Suarez and Cavani — far from it. They have their veteran goalkeeper Fernando Muslera between the sticks, who on his day is very difficult to beat, as we’ve seen so far at this tournament. 

Helping Muslera out in defense is veteran Atletico Madrid center back and Uruguay captain Diego Godín. Godin has almost 15 years of experience with the national side and has always been a stalwart at Atleti. In fact, Diego Maradona recently hit out at Spain captain Sergio Ramos, saying Godin was a better defender. However, we’re pretty sure Ramos wasn’t too bothered by Maradona’s comment, as judging by Maradona’s recent behavior you can take his opinions with a grain of salt. Godin is a great leader and defender, that we can safely say is not an opinion. 

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The impressive thing about these players is not the veteran presence they have kept over the years, it’s the fact they’ve been able to refresh and incorporate new and exciting young talent to compliment the veteran heads. Jose Gimenez looks like he’s forging a solid partnership with Godin and his other defenders and he’s only 23 years old. In midfield they also have exciting up and comers like Rodrigo Bentancur and Nahitan Nández, who delivered one of the most inventive and furious tackles we’ve ever seen. Dude used his head to tackle a guy.

So maybe, CR7 and his Portugal squad should be wary of a Uruguay team that is solid in all positions and so far seems to have a defensive fierceness no one has been able to break down. Uruguay looks scary, organized and well prepared to shock the world in Russia and Luis Suarez hasn’t even started biting people yet. 

Vamos la Celeste! Don’t sleep on Uruguay people!     

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