After a difficult South American qualifying campaign, Uruguay returns to the World Cup for the fourth consecutive time, this time under new coach Diego Alonso.
Uruguay is a team that always aims high, which is why they are two-time world champions. With top international players, the team will try to improve on their last two performances, where they finished in the Round of 16.
This team features an interesting mixture of veteran players such as Luis Suárez and Diego Godín, along with a new generation that is already making waves around the world, with stars such as Federico Valverde and Ronald Araújo (injury permitting).
Strenghts: Attacking options, Intensity
Uruguay has first-class attackers with different attributes to hurt any team.
The emergence of Darwin Núñez, now a Liverpool star, will command a fierce offense alongside veterans such as Luis Suárez and Édinson Cavani.
"La Celeste" not only has great center forwards, but also good attacking midfielders such as the young Facundo Pellistri and Giorgian De Arrascaeta, who with their irreverence are capable of breaking any defense with a simple pass or dribble.
To this attacking infantry, we add a series of intense midfielders, skilled in recovering the ball and playing cleanly. We are talking about Federico Valverde, Rodrigo Bentancur, and Matías Vecino.
Weaknesses: Generational change
Uruguay's historic generation is on its way out, this is a reality. The best days of Luis Suárez, Édison Cavani, and Diego Godín are behind them, and that is why Uruguay had problems in the qualifiers, to the point of endangering their presence in Qatar in 2022.
Although the team has good young players, it is always difficult to face a competition like the World Cup for the first time.
Player to watch: Federico Valverde
Today, Federico Valverde is one of the best players in the world and possibly the most outstanding player for European champions Real Madrid so far this season.
Valverde is capable of performing at a high level both on the right wing and in midfield, although in Uruguay his role will be in the middle of the pitch.
The 24-year-old plays with total intensity and speed, fighting for every ball as if his life depended on it. To this, we add his great long-distance shooting with both legs. Valverde is a real sensation.
Prediction: Round of 16
Group H will be tricky because, in addition to a powerhouse like Portugal, there is also South Korea with its speed, and Ghana, a team that is thirsty for revenge against Uruguay after what happened in 2010.
I have no doubt that Uruguay will advance to the Round of 16, but I see it as difficult for them to overcome Portugal, a team with an important generation of players that dominate European football.
In case they qualify as runners-up, they will face Brazil in the Round of 16, and that would be the end of their journey. Although anything can happen, it is difficult to think that Uruguay will defeat Brazil, a team that dominated them in the qualifiers.