Uruguay - Profile
The Uruguay national football team represents Uruguay in international football competition and is controlled by the Asociación Uruguaya de Fútbol. Uruguay have won two FIFA World Cups, including the first ever World Cup in 1930 as hosts, beating Argentina 4-2 in the final.
They won their second title in 1950, upsetting hosts Brazil 2-1 in the final match. They also won the Gold Medals in football at the Summer Olympics twice, in 1924 and 1928, before the creation of the World Cup.
They also won the 1980 Mundialito, a tournament among former World Cup champions Uruguay hosted in 1980 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first World Cup. Uruguay won more international titles (19) in the 20th century than any other country in the world and still holds this record, albeit it is now shared with Argentina.
Their success is amplified by the fact that the nation has a very small population.
Uruguay is the only country in the world to win a World Cup with a general population of under 4 million inhabitants and is by far the smallest nation to do so.
The second smallest country to have won the World Cup is Argentina with a total population of over 40 million people.
Uruguay is also the smallest country ever to win any World Cup medals. In fact, only six nations with populations smaller than Uruguay's have ever participated in any World Cup: Northern Ireland (3 times), Wales, Kuwait, Jamaica, Slovenia and Trinidad and Tobago. Uruguay is also the smallest nation to win Olympic gold medals in any team sport.
Uruguay is also the smallest member nation of CONMEBOL, South American Football Association. Nevertheless, Uruguayan national team also have won the Copa América 14 different times, a record it shares with Argentina.
However, the level of the Uruguay national team has decreased lately as Uruguay has only qualified on two occasions in the last five World Cups, although it remains a strong team in South America, having reached third place and fourth place in the last two Copa América tournaments, respectively.
Prior to 1916, Uruguay played more than 30 matches, of which all but one were against Argentina. The inaugural Copa America provided Uruguay with more varied opposition.
Victories over Chile and Brazil along with a tie against Argentina enabled Uruguay to win the tournament.
The following year Uruguay hosted the competition, and retained the title by winning every game. The 1919 Copa America saw Uruguay's first defeat in the tournament, a 1-0 defeat in a playoff with Brazil which went to two periods of extra time, the longest Copa America match in history.
In 1924 the Uruguay team traveled to Paris to become the first South American team to compete in the Olympic Games. In contrast to the physical style of the European teams of the era, Uruguay played a style based around short passes, and won every game, defeating Switzerland 3-0 in the gold medal match. In the 1928 Summer Olympics Uruguay went to Amsterdam to defend their title, again winning the gold medal after defeating Argentina 2-1 in the final.
Following the double Olympic triumph, Uruguay was chosen as the host nation for the first World Cup, held in 1930, the centenary of Uruguay's independence.
During the World Cup, Uruguay won all its matches, and converted a 1-2 half-time deficit to a 4-2 victory against Argentina at the Estadio Centenario.
Due to the refusal of some European teams to participate in the first World Cup, the Uruguayan Football Association urged other countries to reciprocate by boycotting the 1934 World Cup played in Italy.
For the 1938 World Cup, France was chosen as host, contrary to a previous agreement to alternate the Championships between South America and Europe, so Uruguay again refused to participate.
Uruguay again won the World Cup in 1950, beating hosts Brazil in a surprise result at the Maracanã Stadium, a match known as the Maracanazo.
Since 1950, the national team has had mixed performances in the World Cup, achieving fourth place in 1954 and 1970, but failing to qualify on several occasions. A new generation headed by Francescoli emerged in the mid-1980s, which qualified for the 1986 and 1990 World Cups, reaching the second round. During the 2000s, the less successful generation of Recoba, Forlán and Montero among others qualified for the 2002 World Cup, but were unable to leave the group stage.
Nevertheless, during the same time period from the 1950s, Uruguay won the Copa America six times, most recently in 1995, when Uruguay also hosted the tournament. Each of the seven occasions when the Copa America has been hosted in Uruguay has resulted in the Uruguayan team winning the tournament.
By May 1, 2009 Uruguayan national team are ranked by FIFA 16th in the world and 3rd in South America, below Brazil and Argentina only.
2010 World Cup Squad:
Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera (Lazio), Juan Castillo (Deportivo Cali), Martin Silva (Defensor Sporting)
Defenders: Diego Lugano (Fenerbahce), Diego Godin (Villarreal), Andres Scotti (Colo Colo), Mauricio Victorino (Universidad de Chile), Martin Caceres (Juventus), Jorge Fucile (Porto), Maximiliano Pereira (Benfica)
Midfielders: Sebastian Eguren (AIK Stockholm), Alvaro Pereira (Porto), Walter Gargano (Napoli), Diego Perez (AS Monaco), Alvaro Fernandez (Universidad de Chile), Nicolas Lodeiro (Ajax), Egidio Arevalo Rios (Penarol), Ignacio Gonzalez (Levadiakos)
Forwards: Luis Suarez (Ajax), Diego Forlan (Atletico Madrid), Sebastian Abreu (Botafogo), Edinson Cavani (Palermo), Sebastian Fernandez (Banfield).
1 Rodolfo Rodríguez 1976–1986 79 0
2 Enzo Francescoli 1982–1997 72 15
3 Fabián Carini 1999– 74 0
4 Álvaro Recoba 1995–2007 69 14
=5 Ángel Romano 1911–1927 68 28
=5 Pablo Gabriel García 1997–2008 68 3
7 Carlos Aguilera 1982–1997 65 23
=8 Paolo Montero 1991–2005 61 5
=8 Jorge Barrios 1980–1992 61 4
10 Diego Forlán 2002– 60 22
1 Héctor Scarone 1917–1930 31 (52) 0.60
=2 Ángel Romano 1911–1927 28 (68) 0.41
=2 Sebastián Abreu 1997– 28 (56) 0.50
4 Óscar Míguez 1950–1958 27 (39) 0.69
5 Pedro Petrone 1924–1930 24 (29) 0.83
6 Carlos Aguilera 1983–1997 23 (65) 0.35
=7 Diego Forlán 2002– 22 (58) 0.38
=7 Fernando Morena 1971–1983 22 (54) 0.41
9 José Piendibene 1909–1923 20 (40) 0.50
10 Héctor Castro 1926–1935 18 (25) 0.72
WORLD CUP WINNING CAPTAINS
1930 José Nasazzi 51 (0)
1950 Obdulio Varela 45 (9)
1916: Jorge Pacheco
1916: Alfredo Foglino
1917 - 1918: Julián Bértola
1919 - 1920: Severino Castillo
1920 - 1922: Ernesto Fígoli
1922 - 1923: Pedro Olivieri
1923 - 1924: Leonardo De Lucca
1924 - 1926: Ernesto Meliante
1926: Andrés Mazzali
1926: Ernesto Fígoli
1927 - 1928: Luis Grecco
1928 - 1932: Alberto Suppici
1932 - 1933: Raúl Blanco
1933 - 1941: Alberto Suppici
1941 - 1942: Pedro Cea
1942 - 1945: José Nasazzi
1945 - 1946: Aníbal Tejada
1946: Guzmán Vila Gomensoro
1946 - 1955: Juan López
1955: Juan Carlos Corazzo
1955 - 1957: Hugo Bagnulo
1957 - 1959: Juan López
1959: Héctor Castro
1959 - 1961: Juan Corazzo
1961 - 1962: Enrique Fernández
1962 - 1964: Juan Corazzo
1964 - 1965: Rafael Milans
1965 - 1967: Ondino Viera
1967 - 1969: Enrique Fernández
1969 - 1970: Juan Hohberg
1970 - 1973: Hugo Bagnulo
1974 - 1974: Roberto Porta
1974 - 1975: Juan Alberto Schiaffino
1975 - 1977: José María Rodríguez
1977: Juan Hohberg
1977 - 1979: Raúl Bentancor
1979 - 1982: Roque Máspoli
1982 - 1987: Omar Borrás
1987 - 1988: Roberto Fleitas
1988 - 1990: Oscar Tabárez
1990 - 1993: Luis Cubilla
1993 - 1994: Ildo Maneiro
1994 - 1996: Héctor Núñez
1996 - 1997: Juan Ahuntchaín
1997 - 1998: Roque Máspoli
1998 - 2000: Víctor Púa
2000 - 2001: Daniel Passarella
2001 - 2003: Víctor Púa
2003 - 2004: Juan Ramón Carrasco
2004 - 2006: Jorge Fossati
2006: Juan Ferrín
2006 - present: Oscar Tabárez
Uruguay and Argentina hold the record for the most international matches played between two countries. The two teams have faced each other 161 times since 1901.
The first match against Argentina was the first official international match to be played outside the United Kingdom and Ireland.