It’s easy to forget that Uruguay, despite their relative innocuity over the past couple of decades, are one of the most decorated national sides in history. What’s even more remarkable is that a country with a population of just four million has managed to win the FIFA World Cup twice. The Uruguayans will be looking to improve on their showing in the 2002 World Cup, though, which they crashed out of with only one point.
Tabarez leads Uruguay into the 2010 World Cup, hoping to cash in on his three decades of coaching experience. But the 63-year-old has his work cut out for him: Uruguay have been drawn in a group with hosts South Africa, Mexico and 2006 finalists France. Tabarez plans to acclimatise the team in Montevideo, before travelling to Cape Town for their opening fixture against the French.
Player to watch
After scoring the winning goal in the 2010 Europa Cup final, Diego Forlan has already proven he’s a big-game player. Uruguayans will be hoping the Athletico Madrid striker’s rich vein of form will continue in South Africa, where he’ll be hoping to add to the 23 goals he’s already tallied for his country.
We’re on the ball
World Cup appearances: 10
Previous best: Winners, 1930 & 1950
Strange but true: The blue and black of Uruguay’s team strip is in homage to the now defunct club side River Plate
Odds of winning: 100/1
Fixtures: France, June 11, 10.30pm, Cape Town South Africa, June 16, 10.30pm, Pretoria Mexico, June 22, 6pm Rustenburg