As a youth player he joined Montevideo side Club Nacional in 2004 and made his professional debut in 2009, winning the title in his first full season. But the 6' 6'' defender had already begun to make waves in the game and was a youth international with his country before he had even made a start for his club.
Quickly showing off his balance, speed and technique he played at the 2009 South American Youth Championships and the Under-20 World Cup and almost made the cut for the 2010 World Cup, although was left behind.
Illness to Diego Godin handed him his chance at the 2011 Copa America after winning another Uruguayan title and Liverpool made their move to bring him in with a week remaining in the transfer window.
Strengths: Height is obviously a key attribute and his aerial ability matches his frame. A decent ball player, he also has strength in abundance.
Weaknesses: Concentration and positional awareness can be worked on, but there are few holes in his game. Although a strong player, it is also said he must learn to use this more wisely.
Career high: The 2011 Copa America tournament saw Coates arrive on the international scene, winning the trophy and being named the Best Young Player.
Career low: Left out of the Uruguay's 2010 World Cup squad due to his lack of experience.
Style: Tall, elegant, commanding, a deceptively quick defender.
Quotes: "It's a club with a lot of tradition and history in English football, and the fact that Luis [Suarez] is there is a great help for me,'' Coates talks about his move to Liverpool, August 2011.
Trivia: At 17, Coates made his debut for the Uruguay Under-20 side in 2008 without a competitive start for his club to his name.
PRIMERA DIVISIÓN DE URUGUAY