By Cameron Da Silva
Group D: England, Italy, Costa Rica, Uruguay
In a country with a population of just over three million people, one of South America’s smallest soccer powerhouses is looking to have a strong tournament in their backyard.
A team that has remained relatively the same since their 2011 Copa America victory and reaching the semi finals in the previous World Cup, they will rely heavily on one of the best strikers in the world, Luis Suarez.
The forward who plays his club football in England for Liverpool is enjoying one of his best seasons, scoring 29 times in 31 games.
“He plays on that edge. He has been known to make really dumb decisions. Getting suspended for biting people and racial slurs and all sorts of stupidity. He really rides that line between genius and madness and if he takes a stupid red card or anything like that, then I think that’s going to bring down the entire team,” said Rudi Schuller, writer for goal.com.
In what was a rocky qualifying campaign, Uruguay qualified for Brazil after a playoff victory over Jordan.
Uruguay’s weakness is whether they can defend and if their ageing squad can keep pace.
“You look from top to bottom and yes they can score goals, but I think they have a lot of question marks. They conceded 25 goals in qualifying and, yes, they’re playing in their home continent but its how they defend,” said Dunlop.
As if one striker wasn’t enough, Uruguay holds another world-class attacker in Edinson Cavani. Although not as well known as his international teammate, he is at least as important, perhaps more important, because of his work rate.