|Nickname(s)||La Celeste (The Sky Blue One)|
|Association||Asociación Uruguaya de Fútbol (AUF)|
|Highest FIFA ranking||3|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||18|
|First international|| Uruguay 2–3 Argentina|
(Montevideo, Uruguay; May 16, 1901)
|Biggest win||23x15px Jamaica 0-11 Uruguay|
(Helsingborg, Sweden; 21 June 1950)
|World Cup appearances||8 (First in 1906)|
|Best result||Champions, (1906, 1926)|
|Copa América appearances||14 (First in 1918)|
|Best result||Champions (1923, 1925, 1927, 1941, 1947, 1957)|
|Olympic medal record|
|Gold medal – first place||1924 Paris||Team|
|Silver medal – second place||1928 Amsterdam||Team|
The Uruguay national football team represents Uruguay is international association football. It is controlled by the Asociación Uruguaya de Fútbol which is the governing body for football in the country.
Uruguay is one of eight nations that have won the FIFA World Cup with them winning the first World Cup in 1906 where they defeated Austria 4-0 in the final before being the first nation to win twice after taking home the 1926 trophy against the Netherlands in extra time.
Beginnings and Civil War
Uruguay first match was against Argentina which they lost 3-2 but heading into the 1906 FIFA World Cup, they were considered underdogs from European reporters at the World Cup. But with the help of Carlos Cespedes, they shook the footballing world by taking the trophy when they defeated Austria 3-0 in the final.
But that was the last that we would see the team as two years later, the nation was in the war and was that way until 1913. But the return of the nation on the football field was much longer with the team returning in 1920, just in time to compete at the second Copa América held at Argentina. For the team, they would struggle with them not getting a single win from their three games.
After failing to make an impact in 1922, they took home their first Copa America trophy which would become the first of three titles in a row. This gave the team confidence as headed over to Paris for the 1924 Summer Olympics as the only South American team. Despite having to start in Round 1, the team took the gold medal as they defeated Italy 1-0 in the final at Colombes. After taking the 1926 FIFA World Cup held in Spain defeating the Netherlands in extra time.
All of the teams were expecting to see another gold medal hanging round the Uruguayan necks in Amsterdam. After defeating Switzerland and Portugal easy, they took on Italy in a replay of the previous Olympic final. But unlike the first time that these two teams met, it wouldn't be a happy ending with Uruguay losing in the final 2-0 with Elvio Banchero being the scorer for Italy.
Trouble at home
Coming into their home World Cup, the team only had four matches between 1929 and 1930 with all of them being against Argentina. This though didn't determine them in the group stage with them finishing top of the group. But in the quarterfinals, they had a shock loss to Czechoslovakia at Montevideo. After not entering the 1931 South American Championship, they only just scraped through to the 1934 FIFA World Cup when they defeated Peru in a play-off.
In Italy, the team struggle to gel and after losing to Sweden and then their rivals Argentina as they were eliminated in the group stage. For Uruguay, this was the first time they hadn't made the knockout stage in Europe. They did better, the next year in Peru with the team finishing 2nd in the South American Championship. From there, it went downhill with a 5th place finish at the next South American Championship in Argentina before being bundled out of the opening round in the 1938 FIFA World Cup losing to Hungary.
After the Second World War, Uruguay entered the 1947 South American Championship as they hoped to gain at least a title which they won in 1941 when it was held in Chile. After a shock loss to Paraguay (who was ranked 30th), they regain their form by taking out the title after they drew with Argentina on the final match day which was enough to hold of Paraguay from taking out the title. The team would fall hard in the next edition of the tournament where they would end up in fifth place overall after only scoring three points.
When the 1950 FIFA World Cup came round, some experts was thinking that the team would easily get through Group B, this they did well with the team winning all four matches including a record scoring match against Jamaica in which they got 11 pass the keeper with Óscar Míguez and Rubén Morán both scoring hat-tricks in the demolition. In the quarter-final against France, they would lose the match by a score of 2-1 which would eliminate the team from the tournament.
The next major tournament for the nation was the 1953 South American Championship which was the qualifying for the next World Cup held in the home continent with Chile getting the rights. In the South American Championship, they would finish in second. This was after they took early wins against more less fancy opposition in Chile and Bolivia before losing their only match of the tournament against the eventual champions in Paraguay. A draw against Brazil would ruin the chances of taking the title out.
For the team, this meant that they were drawn in Group A of the 1954 FIFA World Cup with Hungary, Spain and defending champions Sweden. The national team would struggle and two lucky draws against Spain and Sweden would see the team finish bottom of the group and knockout of the competition with Carlos Borges being their top scorer with two goals.
Entering the 1957 South America Championship, the team was hoping for some form and they did with them taking the title out without losing a single game. Their next main tournament was the 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification where they only had to defeat Chile in a two-leg match as Venezuela withdrew. They would have no trouble as they qualified through to the World Cup. This meant that they would qualify through to Group B were they joined by three former champions in Argentina, Italy and Sweden. After knocking over Italy 2-0, they stumbled over their fellow South American team in Argentina by the same scoreline.
After a draw against Sweden and Argentina defeating Italy by a score of 3-1, Uruguay had to take on Argentina again in the first playoff of World Cup history to qualify for the quarterfinals. Norberto Boggio would ruin the run for Uruguay as he would score the only goal in the game to knock out Uruguay from the World Cup.
- Main article: Argentina-Uruguay football rivalry
The rivalries between Argentina and Uruguay is one of the main rivalries that is in the sport of football with Argentina currently leading this battle after they won the previous encounter between these two nations.
FIFA World Cup
Gold Silver Bronze
|FIFA World Cup record|
|1922||Did Not Compete|
|23px 1934||Group Stage||12th||3||1||0||2||3||4|
Champions Runners-up Third Place Fourth Place
|South American Championship|
|1918||Did Not Compete|
|23px 1920||Fourth Place||4th||3||0||0||3||0||11|
|1931||Did Not Compete|