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It is a changing of eras for Uruguay with Luis Suarez (right) and Darwin Nunez (left) leading the attack at the 2022 FIFA World Cup (Photo by Raul Arboleda/AFP via Getty Images)

2022 FIFA World Cup Team Previews: Uruguay

It is a changing of eras for Uruguay with Luis Suarez (right) and Darwin Nunez (left) leading the attack at the 2022 FIFA World Cup (Photo by Raul Arboleda/AFP via Getty Images)

2022 FIFA World Cup Team Previews: Uruguay

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is less than a month away from kicking off in Qatar. Over the next 32 days, I will be previewing each team that will be taking part in the world’s most-watched event. Check out all of the team previews that have been done so far. Up next is Uruguay.

Despite a five-match winless streak during CONMEBOL qualifying, Uruguay managed to turn things around and finish third in qualifying. Finishing third meant automatic qualification to the 2022 World Cup for “La Celeste” or “The Sky Blue” and they did it by winning their last four matches while conceding just once. This Uruguay squad will be very interesting because it will include a few regular faces but will also have a bunch of players making their World Cup debuts. Uruguay is the 14th-ranked team in the FIFA men’s rankings which is better than two of the three other teams in Group H.

World Cup Appearances

Three straight appearances will become four for Uruguay at the 2022 World Cup. As the hosts of the first World Cup in 1930, “La Celeste” have been a part of the World Cup since the start. They have missed out on eight World Cups while the 2022 World Cup will be the 12th appearance for Uruguay.

Best Finish at a World Cup

Uruguay had the best start to the World Cup winning the first two World Cups that they were part of. They won the 1930 World Cup as hosts by going perfect in the group stage, before beating Yugoslavia 6-1 in the semi-final. In the final “La Celeste” kept scoring by beating Argentina 4-2 in the final. After refusing to play in either the 1934 or 1938 World Cups, Uruguay returned for the 1950 World Cup in which they were champions again. The 1950 World Cup had a round-robin final round that came down to the last match between Uruguay and Brazil. In the “final” Uruguay beat Brazil 2-1 with two second-half goals to win their second World Cup in two appearances.

Key players

The squad that “La Celeste” will have at the 2022 World Cup has a good mix of old and new players. For the fourth straight World Cup Uruguay will have Luis Suárez, Edinson Cavani, Diego Godín, and Fernando Muslera. Suárez and Cavani are the two most prolific goalscorers in Uruguay’s history with 68 and 58 goals respectively. Godín is the captain of “La Celeste” and anchors the defense. Muslera became the first-choice goalkeeper at the 2010 World Cup and has played every single minute for Uruguay at the past three World Cups. 

While the senior core is still there, there are a few key players that will be making their World Cup debuts at the 2022 World Cup. It has been Cavani playing up top with Suárez at the past World Cups, but that could change this year with Darwin Núñez being selected to the squad. In his first season at Liverpool, Núñez has scored nine goals in 18 matches since making the move from Benfica. Another player making his World Cup debut is midfielder Federico Valverde. The Real Madrid midfielder was selected to the provisional 26-man squad in 2018 but was not chosen as one of the 23 players to go to the 2018 World Cup. He has played in all but one of Real Madrid’s 21 matches so far. Of the 20 matches he has played in, he was a starter in 15 of them. Being a clear choice for Real Madrid will give Valverde a load of confidence about starting for “La Celeste” at the 2022 World Cup. 


Diego Alonso took over the job of manager in December 2021 replacing Óscar Tabárez who had managed Uruguay for the last 15 years. In his first four matches as the new manager, Alonso led “La Celeste” to four straight wins to clinch World Cup qualification. Through his first nine matches, he has a record of 7-1-1.

Biggest Group Game – vs Portugal on November 28

The two favorites in Group H faceoff in a match that includes some of the best forwards in the world. Portugal has Cristiano Ronaldo while Uruguay has Suarez and Núñez. This match could also play a big role in the final standings in Group H.


Uruguay is in a weird group at the 2022 World Cup. In Group H there are Ghana, Portugal, and South Korea, and I can see all four teams making it out of the group stage. I think for “La Celeste” the blend of youth and experience will cause Uruguay to falter a bit in the group stage against tough competition. I see Uruguay finishing third in the group stage and going out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on goal difference. 


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