Qatar will be Uruguay’s fourth consecutive World Cup, a remarkable feat for a country with a population of just under 3.5 million.
He reached the quarter-finals in Russia four years ago, having reached the round of 16 in Brazil and the semi-finals in South Africa.
Last year, they parted ways with legendary head coach Oscar Tabarez. The 75-year-old took over in 2006 and is credited with reviving football in Uruguay and masterminding its golden era.
However, new manager Diego Alonso took over when World Cup qualification was far from certain. Uruguay had lost their last four matches before Tabares’ dismissal and sat outside the South American qualifying places.
However, Alonso powered Uruguay’s campaign, presiding over four wins from four games as his team finished third in the CONMEBOL table, just behind runaway leaders Brazil and Argentina.
Uruguay has been drawn into Group H at this year’s tournament and will face Portugal, Ghana and South Korea. They will play Ghana for the first time since their infamous quarter-final in 2010, in which Luis Suarez was sent off for a handball on the line that prevented Uruguay from being eliminated. Asamoah Gyan missed the resulting penalty, and Ghana lost the ensuing penalty shootout.
Surprisingly, Suárez is still part of the Uruguay team 12 years later. The 35-year-old is Uruguay’s all-time leading goalscorer with 68 goals and was included in Alonso’s 55-man preliminary list for Qatar, whose tournament venue is controversial for reasons outlined in this article.
Preliminary selection of Uruguay for the World Cup
Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Sergio Rochet (National), Guillermo de Amores (Lanús), Sebastián Sosa (Independent), Santiago Mele (Unión), Gastón Olveira (Olimpia).
Defenders: Diego Godín (Vélez Sarsfield), José Giménez (Athletic Madrid), Ronald Araujo (Barcelona), Federico Pereira (Liverpool Montevideo), José Luis Rodríguez (National), Gastón Álvarez (Getafe), Santiago Bueno (Girona), Alfonso Espino ( Cádiz)), Lucas Olaza (Real Valladolid), Agustín Rogel (Hertha Berlin), Damián Suárez (Getafe), Giovanni González (Mallorca), Bruno Méndez (Corintios), Leandro Cabrera (Espanyol), Matías Viña (Rome), Sebastián Coates (Sporting Lisboa), Martín Cáceres (LA Galaxy), Mathias Olivera (Napoli), Guillermo Varela (Flamengo), Sebastián Cáceres (America), Joaquín Piquerez (Palmeiras).
Midfielders: Manuel Ugarte (Sporting Lisboa), Rodrigo Bentancur (Tottenham), Nicolás de la Cruz (River Plate), Giorgian de Arrascaeta (Flamengo), Lucas Torreira (Galatasaray), Federico Valverde (Real Madrid), Matias Vecino (Lazio), Mauro Arambarri (Getafe), Fernando Gorriarán (Santos Laguna), César Araujo (Orlando City), Maximiliano Araujo (Puebla), Felipe Carballo (National), Fabricio Díaz (Liverpool Montevideo).
Forward: Diego Rossi (Fenerbahce), Luis Suárez (Nacional), Jonathan Rodríguez (América), Darwin Núñez (Liverpool), Maxi Gómez (Trabzonspor), Facundo Torres (Orlando City), Edinson Cavani (Valencia), Facundo Pellistri (Manchester United), Agustín Álvarez (Sassuolo), Agustín Canobbio (Athletico Paranaense), David Terans (Athletico Paranaense), Brian Ocampo (Cádiz), Martín Satriano (Empoli), Thiago Borbas (River Plate Montevideo), Nicolás López (UANL).
Key dates of the World Cup squads
Friday, October 21: Delivery of the preliminary squad list (35-55 players)
Monday, November 14: Final list of 23-26 players to be sent
Tuesday, November 15: FIFA will officially announce the 32 squads
World Cup Provisional Squads Explained