Uruguay national football team

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Uruguay
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Los Charrúas
La Celeste
(The Sky Blue One)

La Garra Charrúa
Association Asociación Uruguaya de Fútbol (AUF)
Confederation CONMEBOL (South America)
Head coach Óscar Tabárez
Asst coach Celso Otero
Captain Diego Lugano
Most caps Diego Forlán (108)
Top scorer Luis Suárez (38)
Home stadium Estadio Centenario
FIFA code URU
FIFA ranking 5
Highest FIFA ranking 2 (June 2012)
Lowest FIFA ranking 76 (December 1998)
Elo ranking 9
Highest Elo ranking 1 (Various dates 1920–31)
Lowest Elo ranking 46 (March 1980)
First colours
Second colours
First international
 Uruguay 2–3 Argentina 
(Montevideo, Uruguay; 16 May 1901)[1]
Biggest win
 Uruguay 9–0 Bolivia 
(Lima, Peru; 9 November 1927)
Biggest defeat
 Uruguay 0–6 Argentina 
(Montevideo, Uruguay; 20 July 1902)
World Cup
Appearances 12 (First in 1930)
Best result Winners, 1930 and 1950
Copa America
Appearances 41 (First in 1916)
Best result Winners, 1916, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1926, 1935, 1942, 1956, 1959, 1967, 1983, 1987, 1995, 2011
Confederations Cup
Appearances 2 (First in 1997)
Best result 4th place, 1997, 2013
Olympic medal record
Men's Football
Gold 1924 Paris Team
Gold 1928 Amsterdam Team

The Uruguayan national football team represents Uruguay in international association football and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The current head coach is Óscar Tabárez. The Uruguayan side is commonly referred to as La Celeste (The Sky Blue [One]) or Charrúas.

Uruguay are the current reigning South American champions, having won the 2011 Copa América. Uruguay have won the Copa América a record 15 times. The team has twice won the FIFA World Cup, including the first World Cup in 1930 as hosts, defeating Argentina 4–2 in the final. They won their second title in 1950, upsetting hosts Brazil 2–1 in the final match, which received an attendance higher than any football match ever.

They have won the Gold Medals in football at the Summer Olympics twice, in 1924 and 1928, before the creation of the World Cup. Uruguay also won the 1980 Mundialito, a tournament among former World Cup champions. In total, Uruguay have won 20 official titles, a world record for the most international titles held by any country.

Their success is amplified by the fact that the nation has a very small population of around 3.25 million inhabitants (2011 est.). Uruguay is by far the smallest country in the world to have won a World Cup in terms of population, 1.75 million inhabitants in 1930. The second smallest country, by population, to have won the World Cup is Argentina with a population of nearly 28 million people in 1978. Uruguay is also the smallest country ever to win any World Cup medals; only five nations with a currently smaller population than Uruguay's have ever participated in any World Cup: Northern Ireland (3 times), Slovenia (twice), Wales, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. Uruguay is also the smallest nation to win Olympic gold medals in any team sport.

History[edit]

Uruguay before its first official match vs. Argentina, in July 1902.
The team that won its second FIFA World Cup in 1950 beating Brazil at the final.

Prior to 1916, Uruguay played more than 30 matches, of which all but one were against Argentina. The inaugural Copa America provided Uruguay with more varied opposition. Victories over Chile and Brazil along with a tie against Argentina enabled Uruguay to win the tournament. The following year Uruguay hosted the competition, and retained the title by winning every game. The 1919 Copa America saw Uruguay's first defeat in the tournament, a 1–0 defeat in a playoff with Brazil which went to two periods of extra time, the longest Copa America match in history.[citation needed]

In 1924 the Uruguay team traveled to Paris to become the first South American team to compete in the Olympic Games. In contrast to the physical style of the European teams of the era, Uruguay played a style based around short passes,[2] and won every game, defeating Switzerland 3–0 in the gold medal match. In the 1928 Summer Olympics Uruguay went to Amsterdam to defend their title, again winning the gold medal after defeating Argentina 2–1 in the final. FIFA assumed the responsibility of the organization of the Football Games to be played by FIFA rules and the tournaments would be recognized as World Championships. It only happened twice (1924/1928 Summer Olympics Games) until the creation of it own FIFA World Championship (FIFA World Cup) in 1930.[3]

Following the double Olympic triumph, Uruguay was chosen as the host nation for the first World Cup, held in 1930, the centenary of Uruguay's first constitution. During the World Cup, Uruguay won all its matches, and converted a 1–2 half-time deficit to a 4–2 victory against Argentina at the Estadio Centenario. Due to the refusal of some European teams to participate in the first World Cup, the Uruguayan Football Association urged other countries to reciprocate by boycotting the 1934 World Cup played in Italy. For the 1938 World Cup, France was chosen as host, contrary to a previous agreement to alternate the Championships between South America and Europe, so Uruguay again refused to participate.

Uruguay again won the World Cup in 1950, beating hosts Brazil in one of the biggest upsets in World Cup History. The final was at the Maracanã Stadium in Brazil. Uruguay came from behind to beat the host nation in a match which would become known as the Maracanazo. Many Brazilians had to be treated for shock after the event, such was the surprise of Uruguay's victory.[4]

After their fourth place finish in the 1954 World Cup, the team had mixed performances and after the fourth place finish in 1970, their dominance, quality and performance dropped. They were no longer a world football power and failed to qualify for the World Cup on 5 occasions in the last 9 times. They reached all time lows and were at one time 76th in the FIFA rankings.

However, in 2010 a new generation of footballers created a team that is considered the best in the last 4 decades and caught attention by finishing fourth in the World Cup. A year later, they won the Copa America for the first time in 16 years and broke the record for the most successful team in South America.[5]

Stadium[edit]

Since 1930, Uruguay have played their home games at the Estadio Centenario in the Uruguayan capital Montevideo. The stadium was built as a celebration of the centenary of Uruguay's first constitution, and had a capacity of 90,000 when first fully opened.[6] The stadium hosted several matches in the 1930 World Cup, including the final, which was watched by a crowd of 93,000.[7] Crowds for Uruguay's home matches vary greatly depending on the importance of the match and the quality of the opposition. World Cup qualifying matches often attract crowds of between 50,000 and 73,000.

Uniform[edit]

Kit evolution[edit]

The first official international match was played in Montevideo in 1901; on that occasion, the Uruguayan squad wore Montevideo club Albion's home kit: Albion was in fact the first domestic side to win a game outside Uruguay, an 1896 match against Argentine Retiro Athletic Club in Buenos Aires.

Between 1901 and 1910, Uruguay wore a variety of different shirts during matches, including solid green and white tops, and even a shirt modeled from the Flag of Artigas. On April 10, 1910, now-defunct River Plate F.C. defeated Argentine team Alumni by 2-1, being the first time an Uruguayan team beat legendary Alumni. That day River Plate wore its alternate jersey, a light blue one due to the home jersey was similar to Alumni's. Ricardo LeBas proposed Uruguay to wear a light blue jersey as a tribute to the victory of River Plate over Alumni. This was approved by president of the Uruguayan Association, Héctor Gómez.[8]

The red jersey that is used in today's away strip was first used at the 1935 Copa América, held in Santa Beatriz in Peru, which Uruguay won. It was not worn again (except for a 1962 FIFA World Cup match, against Colombia[9]) until 1991, when it was officially adopted as the away jersey.

Four stars appear above the team logo on the jersey. Two represent Uruguay's 1930 and 1950 World Cup victories, and the other two represent the gold medals received at the 1924 and 1928 Summer Olympics and recognised by FIFA as World Championships.[3] However, on FIFA's official website page dedicated to the Uruguayan national team's participation in the final stages of the world cup, only two stars are shown, recognising the two official victories.

1901 (a)
1901–1910 (b)
1901–10 (b)
1901–10 (b)
1901–10 (b)(c)
1901–10 (b)
1910–present [8]
1935-2010 (away) (d)

Competitive record[edit]

FIFA World Cup[edit]

FIFA World Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 Champions 1st 4 4 0 0 15 3
Italy 1934 Did Not Enter
France 1938
Brazil 1950 Champions 1st 4 3 1 0 15 5
Switzerland 1954 Fourth Place 4th 5 3 0 2 16 9
Sweden 1958 Did Not Qualify
Chile 1962 Group Stage 13th 3 1 0 2 4 6
England 1966 Quarter-Finals 7th 4 1 2 1 2 5
Mexico 1970 Fourth Place 4th 6 2 1 3 4 5
West Germany 1974 Group Stage 13th 3 0 1 2 1 6
Argentina 1978 Did Not Qualify
Spain 1982
Mexico 1986 Round of 16 16th 4 0 2 2 2 8
Italy 1990 Round of 16 16th 4 1 1 2 2 5
United States 1994 Did Not Qualify
France 1998
South Korea Japan 2002 Group Stage 26th 3 0 2 1 4 5
Germany 2006 Did Not Qualify
South Africa 2010 Fourth Place 4th 7 3 2 2 11 8
Brazil 2014 Qualified
Russia 2018 To Be Determined
Qatar 2022
Total 2 titles 11/20 50 19 12 19 80 70
*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.
***Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

FIFA Confederations Cup[edit]

FIFA Confederations Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA Squad
Saudi Arabia 1992 Did Not Qualify
Saudi Arabia 1995
Saudi Arabia 1997 Fourth Place 4th 5 3 0 2 8 6 Squad
Mexico 1999 Did Not Qualify
South Korea Japan 2001
France 2003
Germany 2005
South Africa 2009
Brazil 2013 Fourth Place 4th 5 2 1 2 14 7 Squad
Russia 2017 To Be Determined
Qatar 2021
Total Fourth Place 2/9 10 5 1 4 22 13 -

South American Championship[edit]

South American Championship
Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
Argentina 1916 Champions 1st 3 2 1 0 06 01
Uruguay 1917 Champions 1st 3 3 0 0 09 00
Brazil 1919 Runners-up 2nd 3 2 1 0 07 04
Chile 1920 Champions 1st 3 2 1 0 09 02
Argentina 1921 Third Place 3rd 3 1 0 2 03 04
Brazil 1922 Third Place 3rd 4 2 1 1 03 01
Uruguay 1923 Champions 1st 3 3 0 0 06 01
Uruguay 1924 Champions 1st 3 2 1 0 08 01
Argentina 1925 Withdrew
Chile 1926 Champions 1st 4 4 0 0 17 02
Peru 1927 Runners-up 2nd 3 2 0 1 15 03
Argentina 1929 Third Place 3rd 3 1 0 2 04 06
Peru 1935 Champions 1st 3 3 0 0 06 01
Argentina 1937 Third Place 3rd 5 2 0 3 11 14
Peru 1939 Runners-up 2nd 4 3 0 1 13 05
Chile 1941 Runners-up 2nd 4 3 0 1 10 01
Uruguay 1942 Champions 1st 6 6 0 0 21 02
Chile 1945 Fourth Place 4th 6 3 0 3 14 06
Argentina 1946 Fourth Place 4th 5 2 0 3 11 09
Ecuador 1947 Third Place 3rd 7 5 0 2 21 08
Brazil 1949 Sixth Place 6th 7 2 1 4 14 20
Peru 1953 Third Place 3rd 6 3 1 2 15 06
Chile 1955 Fourth Place 4th 5 2 1 2 12 12
Uruguay 1956 Champions 1st 5 4 1 0 09 03
Peru 1957 Third Place 3rd 6 4 0 2 15 12
Argentina 1959 Sixth Place 5th 6 2 0 4 15 14
Ecuador 1959 Champions 1st 4 3 1 0 13 01
Bolivia 1963 Withdrew
Uruguay 1967 Champions 1st 5 4 1 0 13 02
Total 27/29 11 Titles 119 75 11 33 300 141

Copa América[edit]

Copa América
Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
Location South America.png1975 Fourth Place 4th 2 1 0 1 1 3
Location South America.png1979 Group Stage 6th 4 1 2 1 5 5
Location South America.png1983 Champions 1st 8 5 2 1 12 6
Argentina 1987 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 2 0
Brazil 1989 Runners-up 2nd 7 4 0 3 11 3
Chile 1991 Group Stage 5th 4 1 3 0 4 3
Ecuador 1993 Quarter-Finals 6th 4 1 2 1 5 5
Uruguay 1995 Champions 1st 6 4 2 0 11 4
Bolivia 1997 Group Stage 8th 3 1 0 2 2 2
Paraguay 1999 Runners-up 2nd 6 1 2 3 4 9
Colombia 2001 Fourth Place 4th 6 2 2 2 7 7
Peru 2004 Third Place 3rd 6 3 2 1 12 10
Venezuela 2007 Fourth Place 4th 6 2 2 2 8 9
Argentina 2011 Champions 1st 6 3 3 0 9 3
Chile 2015 Qualified
Brazil 2019
Ecuador 2023
Total 14/14 4 Titles 70 31 22 17 93 69

Olympics record[edit]

Olympics record
Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
1900 to 1920 Did not Participate
France 1924 Champions 1st 5 5 0 0 20 2
Netherlands 1928 Champions 1st 5 4 1 0 12 5
Nazi Germany 1936 Withdrew[11]
1948 to 1972 Did not Qualify
Canada 1976 Withdrew[12]
1980 to 2008 Did not Qualify
United Kingdom 2012 Group Stage 9th 3 1 0 2 2 4
Brazil 2016 To be determined
Japan 2020
Total 3/25 2 Titles 13 10 1 2 34 11

Pan American Games[edit]

Pan American Games record
Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
1951 to 1959 Did not enter - - - - - - -
Brazil 1963 Fourth Place 4th 4 1 0 3 4 6
1967 to 1971 Did not enter - - - - - - -
Mexico 1975 Preliminary Round 11th 2 0 1 1 1 2
Puerto Rico 1979 Did not enter - - - - - - -
Venezuela 1983 Champions 1st 4 4 0 0 5 1
1987 to 1995 Did not enter - - - - - - -
Canada 1999 Preliminary Round 9th 4 0 1 3 2 9
2003 to 2007 Did not enter - - - - - - -
Mexico 2011 Third Place 3rd 5 2 1 2 6 8
Canada 2015 To Be Determined
Total 5/16 1 Title 19 7 3 9 18 26

Honours[edit]

Note: The list above is for Senior and Olympic teams.

Minor tournaments[edit]