The Uruguay national football team is currently in a difficult situation in the South American selection for the 2022 World Cup. The team has not won the last five matches, having lost four of them in a row. This led to the fact that the team, which has several top stars of modern football, occupies only seventh place in the standings, which does not even allow counting on the continental playoffs, let alone a direct ticket to the World Cup in Qatar.
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Uruguay is perhaps one of the greatest paradoxes in the history of world football. Many experts, studying the results and performance of this team, have repeatedly asked the same question: how is this possible in a country with about the same number of inhabitants as in Italian Milan with its outskirts? But the Charrua really has a lot of top achievements – two victories at the World Championships (1930 and 1950), fifteen triumphs at the America’s Cup (1916, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1926, 1935, 1942, 1956, 1959 (II), 1967, 1983, 1987, 1995, 2011) and two Olympic Games wins (1924 and 1928).
To understand why there are so many talented football players in Uruguay, you need to devote a separate study to this, which can take years. Perhaps one of the key factors here is socio-political, associated with various aspects, including migration. Although many scientific approaches in the case of “charrua” run the risk of being simply ineffective – for example, the theory of probability. How likely can we say that in one year in Uruguay two top-strikers of world football will be born, which Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani have long been and continue to be? Moreover, both were also born in the same city – Salto, whose population barely exceeds 100 thousand people.
But Uruguay is lucky, and the football of this country in recent years has really experienced another period of prosperity. In 2011, this team won the America’s Cup, and a year earlier, the Charrua played in the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time in 40 years. In that collective there was a whole scattering of talented performers: Fernando Muslera, Diego Lugano, Martin Caceres, Jorge Fusile, Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez and, of course, Diego Forlan.
Now the Charrua are going through a difficult period of generational change, but the team already has new leaders: 24-year-old Rodrigo Bentancourt, 26-year-old Jose Maria Jimenez and 25-year-old Naitan Nandez. They are still being helped by idols of the past – 35-year-old Fernando Muslera, his peer Diego Godin, as well as 34-year-old Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani. But so far this team has not demonstrated the expected results.
In the last two America’s Cups, the Uruguayan national team only reached the quarterfinals, where they were not beaten by the favorites – Peru and Colombia, respectively, in 2019 and 2021. Now Uruguay has not won since September 10, having lost four times in the last five qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup, and not only to the favorites Argentina (0:3 and 0:1) and Brazil (1:4), but even a very modest one. the Bolivian team (0:3).
The latter result actually cost the work of the legendary Oscar Tabares, who was fired from his position as head coach of the Uruguayan national team, which he held for the past 15 years. The leadership of the Uruguayan Football Association considered that Tabares had exhausted himself, and therefore the team needed a new specialist who would try to shake things up and still win a ticket to the World Cup in Qatar.