I will keep this post short as I don’t want to sound bias as I was born in Montevideo, Uruguay.
In the beginning there was a railway being built in Uruguay. The british arrived in Uruguay to assist in the building of this railway. During their time in Uruguay they would play two sports that the Uruguayans had never seen before. One was cricket and the other was football.
Cricket took 5 days and the Uruguayans said; “Loco I have to wait 5 days before I can try to pick up chicks?” You crazy man, forget this game.
Football on the other hand only took 90 minutes and even quicker if you played really fast. The Uruguayans said: “Loco I like this game but I have to go now cause some girls are waiting for me” 🙂
The poms explained to the Uruguayans how to play the game and then they played a game. After the game the Uruguayans would sit together while drinking their mate’ and discuss the game of football and argue and talk and argue and talk some more, then argue some more. This would last for hours and they would continue it the next day.
Finally the Uruguayans agreed that football would be the English style but the Uruguayans would play futbol instead. On September 28th 1891, Club Atlético Peñarol was founded. They were originally called Central Uruguay Railway Cricket Club to keep the poms happy.
FIFA has officially recognised Peñarol as the best team of the 20th Century. Peñarol’s record speaks for itself: 3 time Inter-Continental winners, 5 time Libertadores Champion, 1 Super Copa and played a less known team called nacional back in 1900 with Peñarol winning 2-0 which was the beginning of the end for nacional.
Peñarol are regarded as the most successful team and the most supported team in Uruguay with 9 International trophies and winning 6 more Uruguayan titles and more classicos then nacional.
With an understanding of the foundation of Uruguayan futbol I can now start on La Celeste. With futbol played in such majestic fashion, the Uruguayan Olympic Futbol Squad were unbeatable in the 1920’s. The Uruguayans had developed their own style which would see them win 2 Gold Medals at consecutive Olympics in 1924 and 1928.
FIFA were looking closely at Uruguay and decided to organise the First World Cup which would be hosted by Uruguay. Uruguay was the obvious choice playing sensational futbol and already two time Champions of the World as FIFA declared that the 1924 Olympics the first World Champion decider.
Now back to South Africa, Uruguay is team 18 with a FIFA ranking of 20 in the World. Uruguays history: 10 Previous World Cup appearances with 2 World Cup Wins in 1930 and 1950. 4th in 1954 and 1970, Quarter Final in 1966, Round of 16 in 1986 and 1990. 14 time South American Champion.
The first ever International played outside the United Kingdom and Ireland was between Uruguay and Argentina who have since played a record 161 times and the good news is that Argentina are improving.
Not many teams that qualified for South Africa can claim to have the “pichichi” highest goal scorer in the Spanish League. Diego Forlan has won the pichichi twice and is a goal scoring machine. Uruguay were able to qualify for the World Cup playing badly so the potential is there. Uruguay don’t have to deal with all the issues when playing the South American Qualification Marathon, altitude, South American referees, stadiums falling down, artificial pitches.
Uruguay are the only team in the world to win a World Cup with a population less then 4 million. The second country to win with a small population is Argentina with 40 million. The fact is that Uruguayans are better then any other country on a per player to population basis. Uruguay has players in every league in the world and even has a striker in the Eskimo league, his name is Walter Quefrio Quease.
Uruguay are in Group A with South Africa, Mexico and France. Uruguay have the players, has a coach, have the suffering fans, has the experience, has the history, has been there before, has had the preparation after 20 games to get to South Africa. Has been in every type of position you can be in.
Uruguay are the most dramatic team in World Futbol, it wont be easy and there will be times when you will fear, you will doubt, you will pull whatever hair you have left from your head, you will start drinking, taking drugs, bashing people, hugging people, screaming, fainting, smashing holes in the wall, driving off a cliff, decide to take up diving, parachuting, bungy jumping, archery, get a gun license, take up painting, call your phyciatrist and his psychologist, take up a faith, become an atheist, look for the exit, see the light, call a friend, make a deal, start singing, start chanting, start dancing, drive around just honking your horn, attach flags to vehicles, some more drinking and eating and celebrating like it’s 1950.
My Prediction: World Cup Winners, Champions of the World 🙂