Uruguay

FIFA ranking: 17

How they qualified: Finished second in CONMEBOL qualifying

World Cup appearances: 12

Best result: Winners (1930, 1950)

Background

The two-time winners will be making their 13th World Cup appearance this summer. La Celeste have only ever failed to reach the knockout stages on 3 occasions, last time in 2002. Uruguay made it to Russia by finishing second in South American qualifying, behind 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil.

The Coach

Óscar Tabárez

Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images Sport

Tabarez is an institution in Uruguayan football, having taken charge of the national team at Italy 1990, South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014 and will be the longest serving manager at Russia 2018. The mastermind of Uruguay’s 2011 Copa America title win, El Maestro is an attack-minded coach fabled for his astute tactics and fatherly approach to his players.

Star Man

Luis Suárez

Buda Mendes/Getty Images Sport

A prolific striker for club and country, Suarez is Uruguay’s all-time leading goalscorer. A European and world champion with Barcelona, the forward has scored five times at the World Cup, having starred at South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014.

Starting XI

World Cup Chances

In group A with hosts Russia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Uruguay have a very good chance of reaching another knockout stage at a World Cup. With world-class players like Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin, PSG forward Edinson Cavani and the prolific Barca striker Luis Suarez, Uruguay have a great chance of making it to at least the round of 16.

Transfer watch

Abel Hernández

Ashley Allen/Getty Images Sport

The Uruguay international has been injured for the majority of the season but has rediscovered his form with five goals in his last seven matches and this sort of form has prompted rumours that Newcastle United are lining up a move for the 27-year-old. Hernandez is out of contract in the summer and this might attract some interest from some English clubs.