Thursday, November 6, 2014

Uruguay Greatest All-Time 23 membr team

WC 1930
This is my all-time team for Uruguay. If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.  

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Uruguay is a tiny country with a population of 3 million, but they are one of the best football nations in the world.  They dominated international football in the 1930's, winning the 1924 and 1928 Olympic Gold medals.  Because of their successes, FIFA decided to awardUruguay as the first ever World Cup host in which they went on to win it.  In 1950, Uruguay inspired by Obdulio Varela pulled a big upset in Brazil, a game that broke the hearts of the Brazilians.  La Celeste also produced great team in 1970 and 2010.  

If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.  The team is not an All-Star team. I try to be as realistic as possible.

GK: Ladislao Mazurkiewicz
He is considered one of the greatest keepers from South America.  He led Uruguay to the semifinal of the World Cup in 1970.  He was voted the best keeper at the tournament. He played with Peñarol at home before moving to Brazil, Spain, Chile and Colombia.

GK Roque Maspoli
Maspoli began playing in the youth ranks of Club Nacional de Football. He would make his Uruguayan Primera División debut with Liverpool de Montevideo in 1939. After one season with Liverpool, he joined C.A. Peñarol. He would spend the rest of his playing career with Peñarol, winning six Primera titles with the club.He was Uruguay's keeper at the World Cup in 1950, where they won it by breaking the hearts of the Brazilians.

GK: Andrés Mazali 
He won two Olympic Gold Medals in 1924 and 1928, but he was banned playing in the 1930 World Cup Finals after breaking the team's curfew.  

RB/DM;  Jose Leandro Andrade
His nickname was "the Black Marvel' (maravilla negra).  He was regarded as the best player at that World Cup and perhaps, in the world at the time. Andrade played for Montevideo club Misiones before signed by Bella Vista. It was at Bella Vista that he was first selected for the national team. Andrade later moved to Nacional where he won four Uruguayan Championships and three national cups. Andrade transferred to Peñarol in 1930 where he played 88 matches over the next few years.
Jose Leandro Andrade

RB/CB: Jose Nasazzi
He was the captain of Uruguay's legendary team that won the World Cup in 1930.   He is regarded by many as Uruguay's greatest ever football player. He was known as "El Gran Mariscal" (The Great Marshal) and had already won the gold medal at the 1924 and 1928 Olympic Games, as well as the South American Championship in 1923, 1924 and 1926, by the time of the first World Cup.

CB: Jose Santamaria
Jose Santamaria was a member of Real Madrid's all-conquering team of the late 1950's.  He spent his 18-year career with Nacional and Real Madrid, winning 17 major titles the two teams combined, including four European Cups with the latter.  He was considered one of the best ever center-backs.
Jose Santamaria
CB:  Darío Pereyra
One of the best center-backs ever to play in the Brazilian league.  He was best remembered for his career with Sao Paulo between 1977 and 1988.  He was also at one point the second most expensive player in the league.

CB: Diego Godin 
He reached the WC semifinal in 2010 and won a Copa America in  2011.  He was a key player for Atletico Madrid when they upset Real Madrid and Barcelona for the La Liga title in 2013-2014.  He also played for C.A. Cerro and Club Nacional de Football before heading to Spain to play for Villarreal.
Diego Godin
CB: Paolo Montero
Montero began his career in Uruguay with Peñarol in 1990, before moving to Italian side Atalanta in 1992. He joined Juventus in 1996, spending 9 seasons there.  He won 4 scudetti titles, but failed to win a Champions League despite playing in 3 Finals.  He also played for San Lorenzo. With La Celeste, he was capped 61 times.  He went to Korea/Japan 2002.
Paolo Montero

LB/LM: Victor Rodriguez Andrade
Jose Leandro Andrade's nephew.  He won the 1950 WC in Brazil . He was Uruguay's greatest left midfielder(or leftback). He played mainly with Peñarol at home. Rodríguez Andrade also played at the 1954 World Cup and won the 1956 South American Championship with Uruguay, and at the club level, he won two Uruguayan First Division titles with C.A. Peñarol.

LB:  Ricardo Pavoni
Affectionately known as "el Chivo", he was considered one of Uruguay's top left backs.  He was a part of the great Independiente of the 1970's that won 5 Copa Libertadores.  In Uruguay, he played Defensor. He was capped 13 times and  was a member of the 1974 WC team in West Germany.

DM: Obdulio Varela
Known as the "Black Chief".  He was the captain of the 1950 World Cup team.  His leadership was credited with helping Uruguay to come from behind to beat Brazil. He is considered one of the best players ever from Uruguay.  He played mainly with Peñarol and Montevideo Wanderers.
Obdulio Varela

DM: Michele Andreolo
He played for Nacional at home, but was best remembered for his time in Italy.  He won 4 scudettos with Bologna. He played for his native Uruguay, but won the World Cup with Italy in 1938.

RW: Alcides Ghiggia
He scored the winning goal against Brazil in the 1950 World Cup Finals that sealed the WC for Uruguay.  The match was known as
the "Maracanazo".   He played for the national sides of both Uruguay and Italy during his career. He also played for the club sides of the Peñarol and Danubio in Uruguay and A.S. Roma and A.C. Milan in Italy.
Alcides Ghiggia

RM:  Luis Cubilla
He was a part of Penarol that won two Copa Libertadores in the 1960 and 1961, and he won one more with Nacional in 1971.  He also played for Barcelona, River Plate of Argentiona,  Santiago Morning of Chile and Defensor Sporting of Uruguay where he helped the club to win their first league championship and break the complete dominance of the league by Peñarol and Nacional.  For Uruguay, he played in three WC Finals: 1966, 1970 and 1974.

LW/SS:  Pedro Rocha
Pedro Rocha won 8 Uruguayan league titles and 3 Copa Libertadores with Penarol from 1959 to 1970.  He moved to São Paulo in 1970.  He spent 7 successful seasons with the club.  He was the league's top scorer in 1972.

AM:  Enzo Francescoli
Known as "the Prince", he was Uruguay's most capped outfield player.  He was a big fan favorite in River Plate where he won Copa Libertadores in 1996.  He also played in France and Italy. With Uruguay, he won three Copa America's in 1983, 1987 and 1995, where he was voted the best player in two of the tournaments.  He was also South America Player of the Year in 1984 and 1995. 
Enzo Francescoli

SS:  Juan Schiaffino
At international level, he won the 1950 FIFA World Cup with the Uruguayan national team, and also took part at the 1954 FIFA World Cup; he later also represented the Italy national football team. He was a key player in Uruguay's WC winning team in 1950.  He was considered one of the greatest Uruguayan players in history.  For club level, he played in Uruguay for Penarol and in Italy with Milan and Roma.  

SS:  Walter Gomez
He joined River Plate at the end of La Maquina.  Later, he formed a famous partnership with Omar Sivori there.  So he was a connection between the two generations of Argentine club football.  His national team appearance was very limited because he moved to Argentina.
FW:  Hector Scarone
Scarone was known to be Uruguay's greatest players during the 1930's. He was a Double Olympic Gold medalist and won the 1930 World Cup Finals.  He scored 31 goals for Uruguay.  He was Uruguay's all-time leading scorer until 2011. At club level, Scarone spent most of his career with Nacional, with whom he won the Uruguayan championship eight times. He scored a total of 301 goals for the club in 369 appearances. He also played for Spanish side FC Barcelona, and Inter Milan and Palermo in Italy.

ST:  Diego Forlan
His career in Europe started slowly.  He played poorly for Manchester United, but his career took off after heading to Spain in 2004.  He was two-time European Golden Shoe winner in 2004-2005 and then, 2008-2009.  He won the Golden Ball at South Africa 2010, where Uruguay finished 4th.  His best years were with Villarreal and Atletico Madrid.
Diego Forlan
ST:  Luis Suarez
At the time of writing, he is the third most expensive player in the world.  He won both the 2013-2014 FWA and the PFA Player of the Year while playing for Liverpool in England.  He was also the European Golden Shoe winner that year. Unfortunately, he was known for biting an opponent at a few occasions.

ST:  Pedro Petrone
Throughout his career, Petrone played for Nacional, where he won two National Tournaments (1924, 1934), and in Italy with Fiorentina, where he was the top goalscorer in Serie A during the 1931–32 season). Whilst in Italy, Petrone was said to be the fastest player in the League. He was a double Olympic Gold medalist in 1924 and 1928, where he was the top scorer in 1924.  He also won the WC in 1930.

Honorable Mention
Rodolfo Rodríguez, Diego Lugano, Alvaro Recoba, Roberto Matosas, Ruben Sosa, Ángel Romano, Edinson Cavani, Omar Miguez, William Martínez, 

Squad Explanation
 -- I carried most of the bigger names, but I also included three newer players, Diego Forlan, Diego Godin and Luis Suarez.  All three of them have successful careers playing in Europe. Uruguay also reached the semifinal of the 2010 World Cup Finals. Edinson Cavani made my honorable mention.
-- Michele Andreolo's contribution to Uruguayan national team was very limited.  He won the World Cup for Italy.  I selected for his club career in Italy and the team needed an extra defensive midfielder.
-- Darío Pereyra was a big star in the Brazilian league.  He was not well-known outside of South America.
-- Diego Lugano was also highly rated in South America, but his European club career was not as good as Diego Godin and Pablo Montero. Jose Santamaria and Darío Pereyra were supposed to be the best of Uruguay.  Roberto Matosas from the 1970 World Cup Finals was also highly rated, but he seemed to be unknown outside of South America.
-- Both Victor Andrade and Jose Leandro Andrade are among the best footballers in Uruguay's history.  
--  Ghiggia scored the most imporatnt goal in Uruguay's history.  So I rewarded him with a spot here.
WC 1950

Starting lineup
Formation 4-3-3
Victor Andrade and Jose Leandro Andrade were more of a box-to-box midfielder in the modern era.  So I used them in the midfield.

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