Thursday, November 6, 2014

Uruguay Greatest All-Time 23 membr team




World Cup 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.
World Cup 1950
Team
GK: Ladislao Mazurkiewicz
Ladislao Mazurkiewicz is considered one of the greatest keepers from South America.  He had 36 caps for the national team. He led Uruguay to the semifinal of the World Cup in 1970.  He was also a participant at the WC Finals of 1966 and 1974. He was voted the best keeper at the tournament. He played with Peñarol at home before moving to play in 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 
Andrés Mazali 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 in the days leading up to the start of the first FIFA World Cup in Uruguay. Mazali was a member of the Nacional side that won three consecutive domestic titles between 1922 and 1924.

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. He played for Uruguay at the 1954 WC Finals, but played for Spain 4 years later in 1958.
Jose Santamaria
CB:  Darío Pereyra
Darío Pereyra was 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. Darío Pereyra started his career at the Nacional de Montevideo and debuted at the Uruguay national squad when he was only 18, becoming the captain of the national team at 19. 

CB: Diego Godin 
With Uruguay, 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. Godín started his professional career with C.A. Cerro at the age of 17. After his good performances, he was transferred to top division powerhouse Club Nacional de Football. In 2007, Godín signed a five-year deal with La Liga side Villarreal CF.
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. His father is former Uruguay international Julio Montero Castillo. 
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.  He was an idol at the club. In Uruguay, he played for Defensor. He was capped 13 times. He was a member of the 1974 World Cup team in West Germany.

DM: Obdulio Varela
Known as the "Black Chief", Obdulio Varela 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 debuted in first division with Montevideo Wanderers in 1938. In 1943, he joined C.A. Peñarol, club for which he would play until his professional retirement in 1955.
Obdulio Varela

DM: Michele Andreolo
Michele Andreolo played for Nacional at home, but was best remembered for his time playing in Italy.  He won 4 scudettos with Bologna. Later in his career he played for Italian sides Lazio, Napoli, Catania and Forlì. For international team, he had played for his native Uruguay before switching to play for Italy.  He won the World Cup with Italy in 1938.

RW: Alcides Ghiggia
Alcides Ghiggia 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.  For the national team, he is the only player to appear in four consecutive World Cups for the Uruguay national football team: 1962, 1966, 1970 and 1974. He also played in the Copa América in 1967.

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 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 in 1950 at the end of La Maquina.  Later in his career, 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 play in Argentina in 1950. He only played 4 times for the national team.
 
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:  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.  With Barcelona, he was a part of the MSN line.

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.

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

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.
-- Diego Forlan is a two-time winner of both the Pichichi Trophy and the European Golden Shoe, and also received the Golden Ball as the best player at the 2010 World Cup. 
-- Jose Leandro Andrade was the first ever World Cup hero.
-- 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. Diego Lugano could not get onto the team.
-- 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.
-- Alvaro Recoba was a star in the 1990's.  His name is widely recognised around the world.  I omitted because there were too many legends before the 1950's.

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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