Trophy Lager: Why Uruguay believe they can win it

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They are one of South America's biggest sides, but can Uruguay go all the way in Russia this summer?
With two wins on the global stage, Uruguay are one of South America's true footballing giants. They have enjoyed a renaissance in recent times, and finished second behind Brazil for the summer spectacle. 

A stingy defence, marshaled by Atletico Madrid stopper Diego Godin, has come to typify their overall approach: this is a team built on grit and solidity.

 

Fifa Ranking

The latest world rankings have Uruguay in 14th place, three places up from May. They come in just behind England, but above such talented sides as Colombia, Mexico and Croatia.

 

Road to Qualifying

Oscar Tabarez's side overcame a rough patch at the end to emerge in second place in South America. Thirteen points from the first six games stood them in good stead, but the wheels began to fall off somewhat on the home stretch, as successive losses to Brazil and Peru, as well as draws against Argentina and, most surprisingly, Venezuela, threatened what seemed a forgone conclusion for La Celeste.

Their road to the summer of 2018 concluded with an emphatic, affirmatory 4-2 thumping of Bolivia.

 

Road to Trophy

In a relatively kind draw, Uruguay have earned six points from wins over Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and could top if they beat Russia.

Top spot could well see them face Portugal in the next round, a tie which is eminently winnable.

GFX Triphy lager image

 

Form

With three wins in five coming into football's showpiece event, Uruguay are tickling along nicely indeed. Uzbekistan, Wales and the Czech Republic were vanquished, with only Poland and Austria taking points off them.

 

Star Player

Edinson Cavani was top scorer for Uruguay in qualifying, and will be key if they are to go all the way.

The PSG man, now 31, is arguably at the peak of his powers, and netted 10 times to haul his nation to the finals, three more than the like of Lionel Messi, Gabriel Jesus and Alexis Sanchez managed.

The onus is on him to lead the line and, fresh from hitting 40 goals for the French champions this past season, he will relish the challenge of taking to the pinnacle of world football.

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