Feisty Dark Horse
Since placing fourth in the 2010 World Cup, Uruguay has been considered a feisty dark horse. Los Charruas finished twelfth in Brazil in 2014 and fifth in Russia in 2018. Those squads were led by Diego Forlan, Diego Godin, Luis Suarez, and Edinson Cavani, to name a few. Amazing players that couldn’t lead La Celeste to the promised land, unlike Jose Pedro Cea, Oscar Miguez, and Alcides Ghiggia, who led Los Charruas to glory in 1930 and 1950.
The 1930 edition was the very first World Cup, and Uruguay was the host. The tournament was very different from what we know today; 13 teams, one group of four teams, and three groups of three teams, with the group winner advancing directly to the Semifinals.
As expected, Uruguay finished the Group Stage undefeated. First, they defeated Peru 1-0 thanks to Hector Castro, who scored in the second half. Later, they had no mercy on Romania and crushed them 4-0. Pablo Dorado, Hector Scarone, Juan Anselmo, and Cea were the scorers. All four goals were scored in the first half.
Los Charruas went off in the Semifinals, defeating Yugoslavia 6-1. Cea was named Man of the Match after scoring a hat-trick. Anselmo and Victoriano Iriarte helped to seal the deal.
They faced a much tougher challenge in the Grand Finale but still defeated Argentina 4-2. Los Charruas showed a lot of character because La Albiceleste won the first half 2-1. In the end, Uruguay finished the tournament undefeated, scored 15 goals, allowed only three, and Cea finished as the runner-up in the Golden Boot race with five goals.
Also known as El Maracanazo, Uruguay pulled off one of the biggest upsets in WC history. Believe it or not, they only faced Bolivia in the Group Stage. They had no trouble and won 8-0 with Miguez as Man of the Match after scoring a hat-trick.
Later, they faced Brazil, Sweden, and Spain in the Final Round. I told you, back then, the WC was completely different. Anyway, they began with a 2-2 draw against Spain. Later, they came from behind to defeat Sweden 3-2.
That set the stage for a championship game between them and Brazil, aka the host. Brazil had crushed Sweden 7-1 and Spain 6-1, meaning all they needed was a draw. Well, Los Charruas had other plans and ended up winning 2-1. Albino Friaca scored the opener for Brazil at the beginning of the second half, while Juan Schiaffino scored the equalizer in the 65th minute. Ghiggia scored the winning goal 14 minutes later.
That way, Los Charruas became the first team to win the WC twice.
Uruguay in Qatar 2022
They expect to win their third title in Qatar 2022, but it won’t be easy. First, they’ve to make it out of Group H, where they’ll face Portugal, South Korea, and Ghana. The Portuguese are the soccer betting favorites to win it at -165, while Los Charruas offer a +200 price.
Individually, Luis Suarez offers a +5000 price to win the Golden Boot. Edinson Cavani is +8000. There’s also Federico Valverde, offering a +10000 price to win the Golden Ball. In other words, they definitely have what it takes to pull off another stunner.