How Has Uruguay Performed in Previous World Cups?
Uruguay hosted the very first edition of the World Cup, which was held in 1930. 13 teams entered the competition, with only 4 of them being from Europe. This was because travel at the time was expensive, but the number of entrants increased by the second edition of the tournament. Uruguay was placed into a group with Romania and Peru. After winning both of their group matches, Uruguay proceeded to the semi-finals, where they thrashed Yugoslavia 6-1. In the finals, Uruguay beat Argentina 4-2 in front of a crowd of 68,000 locals. The win gave Uruguay their first World Cup title. In the following two World Cups of 1934 and 1938, Uruguay refused to participate. This was because a number of European teams refused to travel to Uruguay in the previous World Cup. In the 1938 World Cup, the tournament was held in Europe for a second consecutive time, which caused major outrage amongst the South American countries who had understood that the tournament would alternate between the two continents. As a result, Argentina and Uruguay refused to enter.
After the Second World War broke out, the competition was not held again until 1950. This time around, the tournament was held in Brazil. Uruguay was placed into a group with Bolivia and France, but as France withdrew, they only played Bolivia. Uruguay cruised through their group stage match, beating Bolivia 8-0. In the final round, the four group winners were placed into one group where they had to play in a single leg round robin. Uruguay faced Spain, Sweden, and the host nation Brazil. Winning the matches against Brazil and Sweden, and drawing their game against Spain, Uruguay became the new World Cup champions.
In 1954, the World Cup was held in Switzerland, and Uruguay travelled across the Atlantic Ocean to their first World Cup in Europe. Placed in a group with only European teams, Uruguay won their games and advanced to the semi-finals. Here, they beat England before moving on to the semi-finals where they played against Hungary. Hungary took an early lead, and increased their lead to 2 in the beginning of the second half. Uruguay managed to make a comeback, scoring 2 goals in the final 15 minutes of the game, to send the match into extra time. Here, the Hungarians scored 2 more goals to put the score to 4-2, and the Uruguayans could not respond, sending them to the third place playoff. There, Uruguay faced Austria, and in a shock upset, Austria beat the defending champions to clinch the third place finish, with Uruguay finishing in fourth.
In 1970, the tournament was held in Mexico, and Uruguay entered into was in a group with the national teams of Italy, Israel, and Sweden. Uruguay managed to survive the group stage and then entered the quarterfinals where they faced the Soviet Union. They won the match 1-0 in extra time, to proceed to the semi-finals where they were beaten by Brazil 3-1. In the third place playoff, Uruguay was beaten by West Germany, putting them in fourth place for a second time.
In 2010, Uruguay returned to the World Cup after having narrowly missed out on qualifying for the previous tournament. The team was one of the best Uruguayan teams in history, with some top quality players such as Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, Diego Forlan, Diego Godin, goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, and many more. They were placed in a tough group with France, Mexico, and the host nation South Africa. This did not deter Uruguay, as they won two games and drew one, winning the group. They faced South Korea in the round of 16, whom they beat 2-1 to advance to the quarterfinals, where they played against Ghana. The game was highly dramatic and not without controversy. Ghana took the lead late in the first half, but Uruguay managed an equaliser in the 55th minute. With the teams level at the end of regular time, the game went into extra time. Neither team could break the stalemate until Ghana had a corner in the 120th minute. The ball was headed past the Uruguayan goalkeeper, but striker Luis Suarez was on the line and cleared the ball with an illegal punch. He was instantly given a red card and Ghana was given a penalty in the last minute of play. Asamoah Gyan, the Ghaneian striker missed the shot, and the game headed to penalties. Uruguay then beat Ghana to secure a place in the semi finals. Uruguay faced the Netherlands in the semi-finals, and though they managed to cancel out an early Dutch goal in the 41st minute, the Dutch scored two more in the 70th and 73rd minutes. Uruguay scored a goal in injury time, but it was not enough as the match ended 3-2 to Holland. Uruguay faced Germany in the third place playoff for a second time in the World Cup, and they lost again, clinching a fourth place finish for the third time.
Uruguay managed to reach the round of 16 in the 2014 competition, but they were knocked out by Colombia. In the World Cup of 2018, they won the group stage and then beat Portugal in the round of 16, but were knocked out by the eventual winners France in the quarterfinals.
Uruguay’s Qualification Route to the World Cup
Uruguay played 18 games in the CONMEBOL qualifiers, of which they won 8 to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. Uruguay scored 22 goals in their qualifying matches, but alarmingly the team also conceded the same number of goals. The team showed relative consistency, but struggled against Brazil and Argentina, against whom they lost both their matches. Luis Suarez remained Uruguay's key player, as he netted 8 goals in the qualifiers.
Uruguay’s World Ranking
In mid-2020, before the World Cup qualifiers started, Uruguay sat in 5th place in the World Rankings. After some nervy performances in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers and a disappointing run in the 2021 Copa America, Uruguay fell to the 13th place in the World Rankings.
Which Players Can Uruguay Play?
Uruguay has a number of older players who will bring a lot of experience to the side, as well as some younger players who can bring speed and physicality. In goal, they have their long-time goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. Ahead of him, there is the captain Diego Godin, and next to him, there are some equally talented defenders such as Jose Gimenez, Sebastian Coates, Martin Caceres, and Matias Vina.
In midfield, Uruguay can play Lucas Torreira, Federico Valverde, Matias Vecino, or Giovanni Gonzalez, amongst others. They can supply the front with the passes Uruguay will need to strike with. In attack, there are the two veterans who were present at the 2014 World Cup, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani. In addition to these two, they have some great younger options such as Darwin Nunez, Facundo Pellistri, and Facundo Torres, and more.
How to Bet on Uruguay at the World Cup
You can find all sorts of bets on Uruguay at the upcoming World Cup. These include a number of bets on how the nation will fare in the tournament as a whole, and also for individual player accomplishments during the World Cup, such as which player will win the golden boot, golden glove and golden ball.
Golden Boot Bet
This award is given to the player that scores the most goals in the tournament. Uruguay has a quite a wealthy selection of strikers, with older strikers in Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, and Liverpool’s new £85 million striker Darwin Nunez.
Golden Glove Bet
The golden glove is awarded to the best goalkeeper in the competition. Fernando Muslera is the first choice keeper for Uruguay, and if he can provide the necessary cover in goal and Uruguay reach far in the competition, then he definitely has a chance of winning the golden glove.
Golden Ball Bet
The golden ball is given to the player who makes the biggest impact in the World Cup as a whole. In 2010, when Uruguay placed 4th, Diego Forlan was awarded the golden ball. It is important to note that this award is not always given to a World Cup winner, but rather a player who can help bring his team far in the competition. It has always been given to either forwards or midfielders, so it is usually safer to try to pick out an attacking player to bet on rather than a defensive one.
In addition to these player bets, you may also want to look at the player props available for every single game in the World Cup. You will be able to make player bets for each match, such as will Darwin Nunez score in the game, will Nunez score the first goal, and so on. The action does not stop with player bets, as there are hundreds of markets available for each game in the World Cup, and you may also find a similarly large number of markets in live bets as well. Finally, you can also place bets on how far Uruguay will progress in the tournament.