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Uruguay want to rise again without Tabarez in Qatar World Cup 2022

Nick Wilhelm

Updated: Oct 19, 2022 03:02

La Celeste brave new post-Tabarez era


Two-time world champions are aiming to make it three at Qatar 2022

First major tournament for Diego Alonso, the successor to Oscar Tabarez as Celeste coach

With a blend of experienced campaigners and new faces, Uruguay are dreaming of lifting the Trophy again on 18 December

The FIFA World Cup always poses a threat from Uruguay. La Celeste are never anything less than competitive and shouldn't be disregarded when there are championships up for grabs because of their renowned grit and tenacity. The South Americans can be counted on to fight for every ball and never give up thanks to their talent and bravery.

Uruguay was given a spot in Qatar 2022 thanks to this approach, which is a national characteristic. The lengthy term of Oscar Tabarez as national coach, which had started in 2006 and produced some of the best results in the country's footballing history, came to an end as a result of the qualification campaign, which turned out to be unexpectedly difficult. La Celeste's 2011 Copa America victory was orchestrated by the person known as El Maestro, who also led the team to Brazil in 2014 and South Africa in 2018. He previously led La Celeste to the semifinals in South Africa in 2010. It will be Uruguay's first World Cup game without Tabarez in command in 20 years when they take on Korea Republic on November 24. Victor Pua managed the final game of the disastrous Korea/Japan 2002 campaign.

While several of the players who played a significant role in Uruguay's recent glory years are still available to him, Diego Alonso, his replacement, set out right away to overhaul the team in crucial areas. Federico Valverde and Darwin Nunez, who are both making an impression in Europe, have benefited from this. When Alonso took over toward the conclusion of Uruguay's struggling qualification campaign, he immediately supervised four victories in as many games to move his team to 28 points and third place behind Brazil and Argentina, who were easily ahead of the competition. La Celeste will now compete in a difficult group in Qatar against opponents they have defeated in prior world finals. Their performance throughout the group stage will reveal a lot about whether they possess the qualifications to make a serious run at a third global crown. will introduce you the Uruguay national football team...

Uruguay's Group H fixtures

24 November

Uruguay-Korea Republic (16:00 local time, Education City Stadium)

28 November

Portugal-Uruguay (22:00 local time, Lusail Stadium)

2 December

Ghana-Uruguay (18:00 local time, Al Janoub Stadium)

Diego Alonso's approach and tactics


After a lengthy and distinctive playing career in which he represented rival clubs Nacional and Penarol in Montevideo, Alonso accepted his first coaching position with Bella Vista in 2011. Before being hurriedly called in to replace Tabarez with Uruguay's prospects of qualifying for Qatar 2022 on the line, he first worked in Paraguay, Mexico, and the United States.

Alonso made some structural changes and a few unexpected call-ups when faced with a system and a team that needed improvement, but he was mindful to keep the old guard around.

But some relatively inexperienced players replaced the likes of veteran goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. Unexpected in some quarters, the adjustments paid off right away as Uruguay ran off four straight victories to guarantee their spot in the global finals, a telling indication that the team was behind the new manager. Alonso has demonstrated his tactical adaptability by guiding Uruguay into calmer waters by changing his system and game plan according to the opposition and the situation.

Key player: Federico Valverde


The best midfielder in the world and a key component of the Real Madrid machine, Valverde is a product of the Penarol academy. The 24-year-old, who has previously led his team as captain, is a prototypical box-to-box performer who is capable of having a significant impact on the game at both ends of the field thanks to his defensive work rate, intensity, and eye for goal. He may not be one of the most well-known athletes in the world, but Qatar 2022 will undoubtedly make him a star.

Valverde is so adaptable that he can play in a variety of midfield positions, including the wide positions in a 4-3-3, the right position in a 4-4-2, and the holding midfielder position. A ball of energy who can practically cover every blade of grass, he loves to keep it short and simple when he links up with his teammates by passing the ball and moving, even though his creative game has improved. Valverde is as trustworthy and dedicated as they come, and he never backs down from a fight. He has formed a strong combination with Rodrigo Bentancur in the Uruguay midfield, which is simply its heart, soul, and driving force.

One to watch: Darwin Nunez


Talented athletes are produced in abundance in Uruguay. Even though the country only has a little over three million citizens, its best footballers always end up playing for the top clubs in the world. Nunez is the latest Uruguayan to catch the eye of a European power, following in the footsteps of Diego Forlan, Luis Suarez, and Edinson Cavani. Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool paid nearly €100 million to persuade Benfica to sell the prolific striker.

The Uruguayan has already proven himself and can play down the left or the centre at Anfield, despite experiencing some ups and downs in his first few months there. Both as a lone front man and as a strike partner, he has been filling that center role for the Reds. Nunez is an intimidating opponent in the air, has a deadly shot, and can sniff out space in the box. The young Uruguayan, who can be lethal on the break, finds scoring goals easy. Nunez, a member of the Celeste front line that still features Cavani and Suarez, has the potential to be one of the World Cup's most surprising players.

Uruguay's World Cup record

La Celeste are responsible for two of the most memorable achievements in World Cup history. The first came in 1930, when they won the inaugural world finals on home soil, just two years on from claiming a second successive gold medal in the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament.

Twenty years later, they silenced the nation that has since gone on to win more World Cup Trophies than any other. Inspired by their captain Obdulio Varela, Uruguay dashed Brazil’s dreams in the final match of the 1950 tournament, played out in front of a disbelieving Maracana. That Brazilian nightmare, which the country has never truly forgotten, highlighted Uruguay’s World Cup pedigree, which they underlined again in reaching the last four at South Africa 2010. Ever competitive, Los Charrúas hope to give some of their ageing legends the perfect send-off in Qatar by going all the way for a third time.

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