As the winners of the first-ever World Cup in 1930, Uruguay have plenty of prestige and history on the big stage.
The South American side hosted the inaugural tournament, with home fans overjoyed as Uruguay overcame Argentina 4-2 in Montevideo. Another title followed in 1950 when the country defeated hosts Brazil 2-1 in the final match of the competition.
The results mean Uruguay are one of six nations to have won the World Cup as hosts, and one of six nations to win the competition on more than one occasion.
They are, of course, visitors in the 2022 World Cup, with hosts Qatar welcoming Uruguay into Group H alongside Portugal, Ghana and South Korea. It is certainly one of the more challenging groups in the competition.
As ever, qualifying for the World Cup was not an easy task for the South Americans, coming up against usual enemies Brazil and Argentina among many other top international sides. Unsurprisingly, it was the footballing powerhouses of Brazil and Argentina that secured the top two spots in South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) qualifying.
But Uruguay more than held their own among the best of the rest, clinching third place after their 18 matches. They won eight of those, drawing four and losing six. They ended the qualifying with a goal difference of zero, having scored 22 times and conceded 22 times.
Familiar faces Edinson Cavani and Federico Valverde each chipped in with two goals, with Giorgian de Arrascaeta scoring five times.
No Uruguay player, however, could keep up with Luis Suarez. The lethal striker proved his value to his national team with eight goals in qualifying. Brazil star Neymar also managed eight, with only Bolivian striker Marcelo Moreno (10) scoring more than the ex-Barcelona duo.
Manager Diego Alonso, who took over as Uruguay boss in January 2022, announced his final 26-man squad within the November 14 deadline. Here is the squad for Uruguay's 14th appearance at the World Cup.
Uruguay 2022 World Cup squad
- Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray)
- Sergio Rochet (Nacional)
- Sebastian Sosa (Independiente)
South-American-based shot-stoppers Sergio Rochet and Sebastian Sosa are set for a place in the final Uruguay squad, but both could play backup roles to Fernando Muslera.
With 133 caps for Uruguay, the goalkeeper is level with Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani in the all-time list. Only Diego Godin (159) has more.
Muslera is, however, out on his own when it comes to World Cup appearances. He has played 16 times in the tournament, across 2010, 2014 and 2018 editions, more than any other Uruguay player.
But Alonso has favoured Rochet more often than not in recent times, and it could be the Nacional man who gets the nod in Qatar.
- Ronald Araujo (Barcelona)
- Martin Caceres (LA Galaxy)
- Sebastien Coates (Sporting)
- Jose Gimenez (Atletico Madrid)
- Diego Godin (Velez Sarsfield)
- Mathias Oliviera (Napoli)
- Guillermo Varela (Flamengo)
- Matias Vina (Roma)
- Jose Luis Rodriguez (Nacional)
Currently, with Velez Sarsfield in Argentina, veteran defender and captain Godin made the cut at 36 years old.
Adding some youth will be the likes of Mathias Olivera and Ronald Araujo, but the latter is facing a race against time to be fit, which seems likely since he made the cut. Also on the list are Uruguay regulars Jose Gimenez and Damian Suarez.
Given the quality of opposition attackers in the group, each and every Uruguay defender will need to be on their toes for every minute of the tournament. Son Heung-min, should he recover from an eye injury, will be a real threat for South Korea going forward.
Inaki Williams and Jordan Ayew meanwhile could pose a danger for Ghana.
But it is perhaps Portugal’s attack they need to be aware of most. Despite a lack of form lately, Cristiano Ronaldo always steps up his game when playing for Portugal. His teammates Joao Felix, Rafael Leao and Bernardo Silva will also be a real threat.
- Rodrigo Bentancur (Tottenham Hotspur)
- Nicolas de la Cruz (River Plate)
- Lucas Torreira (Galatasaray)
- Manuel Ugarte (Sporting)
- Federico Valverde (Real Madrid)
- Matias Vecino (Lazio)
- Facundo Pellistri (Manchester United)
Undoubtedly the most talented midfielder set to be included is Real Madrid man Federico Valverde. The 24-year-old has enjoyed a rapid rise at the Spanish giants. He is capable of playing various positions and has shown he knows how to find the back of the net.
Valverde’s energy, along with the composure of Tottenham Hotspur’s Rodrigo Bentancur, will be key in helping Uruguay dominate in midfield.
They will be helped by the likes of former Arsenal man Lucas Torreira, River Plate’s Nicolas de la Cruz and Lazio’s Matias Vecino.
Manchester United youngster Facundo Pellestri also earned a call-up. The 20-year-old already has seven Uruguay caps to his name, having made his debut in January 2022 against Paraguay.
- Agustin Canobbio (Athletico Paranaense)
- Edinson Cavani (Valencia)
- Darwin Nunez (Liverpool)
- Luis Suarez (Nacional)
- Facundo Torres (Orlando City)
- Maxi Gomez (Trabzonspor)
- Giorgian de Arrascaeta (Flamengo)
If Uruguay’s midfield was talented, then the attacking lineup may just be one step ahead. It boasts the likes of Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez and Darwin Nunez.
After a brief pause in action in his club career, Cavani is now back on the pitch and back among the goals for Valencia. The striker has scored 58 goals for his country, with only Suarez scoring more.
The ability of the ex-Liverpool and Barcelona man meanwhile speaks for itself. Suarez is Uruguay’s all-time top goalscorer with 68. Moreover, he is the country’s second top scorer at the World Cup with seven goals. Only Oscar Miguez, who played in the 1950 and 1954 tournaments, has more (eight). At 35, it looks set to be the striker’s last ever World Cup, so he will want to make it a special one.
Current Liverpool man Nunez will also be hoping for some magical moments this winter. He has had a mixed start to life at Anfield since his big-money move from Benfica. The forward most certainly knows where the net is, but his confidence in front of goal will need to be raised if he is to score some goals in the coming weeks.
And qualifying star Giorgian de Arrascaeta is another forward who was handed a place in Alonso’s final 26-man squad. As mentioned, the attacker scored five times to help his country qualify for the tournament.
Also receiving a call-up for the 2022 World Cup are Agustin Canobbio and Facundo Torres. The former is playing his club football for Athletico Paranaense in Brazil, with the latter currently in the USA with Orlando City.
Thanks to the likes of Suarez and indeed the now-retired Diego Forlan, Uruguay’s attackers always seem to turn up on the big stage. The current crop will do their utmost to maintain that reputation in Qatar.
Uruguay World Cup Predictions
Before we focus on Uruguay's squad, we want to provide you with a couple of our favourite betting tips for Uruguay:
Uruguay to Qualify from Group H
Nunez Top Scorer for Uruguay
Uruguay to Qualify from Group H
While the group is not easy since Portugal, South Korea, and Ghana are all good teams, Uruguay has the quality to finish in one of the top two places and get to the knockout stages. We believe they will finish second but betting on them to qualify either way is a safer bet.
Top Goalscorer for Uruguay – Darwin Nunez
Uruguay has a few quality options up front, including experienced Suarez and Cavani. However, Darwin Nunez seems to be their best option right now since he is much younger and in good form. So, we expect Nunez to bet the top scorer for Uruguay in this World Cup.
Uruguay at the 2022 World Cup
Despite enjoying the majority of ball possession and outplaying South Korea, Uruguay failed to muster a shot on target. Out of the fab three, only Darwin Nunez enjoyed 90 minutes on the pitch while Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani interchanged places on the pitch. Moreover, Facundo Pellistri was also disappointed and would be ruing his efforts on the left wing. They will have to give a better account of their abilities against Cristiano Ronaldo and co. in their next Group H fixture. The Portuguese lead the group following their exciting 3-2 win over Ghana.
Here is how Group H looks after one game:
|Team||Matches Played||Points||Goals For||Goals Against|
|3. South Korea||1||1||0||0|
Uruguay World Cup squad FAQs
When will the final Uruguay World Cup squad be named?
FIFA has confirmed that all countries must name their final 26-man squad by 14 November 2022, but Uruguay already named their final squad a bit earlier.
What are Uruguay’s World Cup fixtures?
Nov 24: Uruguay vs South Korea, Education City Stadium
Nov 28: Portugal vs Uruguay, Lusail Stadium
Dec 2: Ghana vs Uruguay, Al Janoub Stadium
How many times have Uruguay qualified for the World Cup?
Uruguay have qualified for the World Cup finals 14 times; 1930, 1950, 1954, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1986, 1990, 2002, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022.
Which are the star players in the potential Uruguay squad?
Luis Suarez will undoubtedly be one to watch for Uruguay this winter, perhaps for more reasons than one. He is, of course, remembered in a bad light by fans of both Ghana and Italy.
The striker is lethal in front of goal, but his bad side came out with a handball and a bite in the 2010 and 2014 tournaments respectively. His fellow forward Darwin Nunez will also be keen to shine and justify his mega-million move to Liverpool.
Finally, Real Madrid talent Federico Valverde could genuinely be one of the standouts of the entire tournament. He has set the world alight already at his club, and could now do the same for his country this winter.
How many players are named in the Uruguay World Cup squad?
At the 2018 World Cup, each country was only allowed to name 18 players in their respective squads, but that number has been extended to 26 for the 2022 edition.
What are Uruguay’s chances of winning the 2022 World Cup?
World rankings don’t mean everything in international football, particularly when it comes to the World Cup. Upsets are a norm on the big stage, with every country capable of beating another amid all the pressure.
But Uruguay may just be confident of at least progressing from Group H, given their spot in 14th place in the world rankings. Among their group opponents, only Portugal (9th) are ahead of them.
South Korea sit 28th in the official standings, with Ghana sitting in 61st place. It could be a matter of Portugal clinching top spot, with Uruguay narrowly finishing second.
After that, it will be a difficult task for the South Americans. The likes of Belgium, France, England and Spain could be awaiting them should they qualify from the group. That said, Uruguay are always a threat at World Cups, and they may just be considered among the dark horses for the 2022 tournament.