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Uruguay

Uruguay

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Team Profile: Uruguay

GettyImagesUruguay were world champions in both 1930 and 1950

Appearances at finals:
1930 - Winners
1950 - Winners
1954 - Fourth place
1962 - First round
1966 - Quarter-finals
1970 - Fourth place
1974 - First round
1986 - Second round
1990 - Second round
2002 - First round

Overall record: Played 40, Won 15, Drawn 10, Lost 15.

Best performance: They won the championship in their first two appearances, in 1930 and 1950.

Most appearances at finals: Ladislao Mazurkiewicz (1966, 1970, 1974) - 11.

Most goals at finals: Oscar Míguez, Juan Alberto Schiaffino (1950, 1954) - 7.

World Cup high: The 'Maracanazo' in 1950, a 2-1 victory against Brazil in the championship-deciding game. Juan Alberto Schiaffino and Alcides Ghiggia scored Uruguay's goals in the second half after Friaça had put the hosts ahead.

World Cup low: Their humiliating 6-1 defeat at the hands of Denmark in Mexico 1986.

World Cup legend: Juan Alberto Schiaffino is considered the best Uruguayan footballer of all-time. He is most fondly remembered for his great performance in 1950, where he led his squad to their most memorable achievement, but some feel he was even better in the 1954 finals. As a man of Italian ancestry, he joined AC Milan in 1954 and spent the final years of his international career playing for Italy.

The story so far: During the early days of organised international football, Uruguay were a true world power. Prior to the creation of the World Cup, they had won Olympic gold in both 1924 and 1928. Since they were the best team of their era, they were awarded the privilege of organising the first World Cup, which they won with relative ease.

Due to political reasons, they were absent from the next two World Cups, but they came back with a bang in 1950 as they achieved one of the biggest shocks in the tournament's history by defeating Brazil at the Estádio do Maracanã to take the trophy, a feat that came to be known as 'Maracanazo'. Despite a couple of decent runs in 1954 and 1970, they have since been unable to relive their early glories.

Qualification: As has been the way of things during recent years, Uruguay had to suffer to reach their 11th World Cup final. Defeat to Argentina in their final CONMEBOL qualifier took them into a play-off with fourth-placed CONCACAF side Costa Rica. They defeated the Ticos 1-0 away and then drew the second leg 1-1 at the legendary Estadio Centenario in Montevideo to grab the last available spot in South Africa.

Qualifying record: P20, W7, D7, L6, F30, A21, Pts 28.

Most appearances: Luis Suárez (19).

Top goalscorer: Diego Forlán (7).