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Will Uruguay Make it Out of Group H

A Strong Start: Analyzing Uruguay’s Chances

After nearly missing out on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Uruguay had a strong end of qualification to secure a spot. They have qualified for the last three World Cups, having relative success in each. The team has a lot of talent and is ranked 13th by FIFA as of June 2022, despite the shaky qualifications. They have been drawn into Group H, which is not the hardest group but does have some challenges. Number nine-ranked Portugal, 28 South Korea, and 60 Ghana round out Group H. A path out of the group stage should be possible.

1. Recent World Cup Success

Uruguay has won the World Cup twice in its history but has not won since 1950. After missing out on the 2006 World Cup, Uruguay has become a regular part of the tournament. In 2010 they lost in the third place game to Germany and featured the Golden Boot and Best Player award winner, Diego Forlan. 2014 saw the team have their worst World Cup of the three, losing in the Round of 16. In 2018 they made their way to the quarterfinals, to lose to eventual champions France. Many key players over these tournaments have remained the same, giving the team a lot of experience in World Cup tournaments.

Will Uruguay Make it Out of Group H

2. An Older Team

A large part of Uruguay’s success is that many of the key players in the 2022 roster played significant roles in the 2010 World Cup success. The team has undergone some changes, but most of it remains the same. That means Uruguay may have an older team than most headed into the World Cup, but with a lot of experience. Captain and center back Diego Godin has been a crucial aspect of the team for over a decade. While playing for Athletico Madrid in La Liga, he became one of the best defenders in Europe while also earning a reputation for a rugged style of play. Forwards Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani are two of the best goal-scorers in Uruguayan history, having club success but also success in international play. Suarez leads all Uruguians in goals with 68, with Cavani in second with 58. No one else has over 40. These three, along with goalkeeper Fernando Muslera and defender Martin Caceres, are five of the most capped players for Uruguay, all with over 114 games played for their country.

3. Young Talent Arriving

Though Uruguay has gradually introduced newer and younger players who have made impacts in the last World Cup odds, this year might be different. Midfielder Federico Valverde may soon be one of the best players on the team headed into the World cup soccer 2022. His creativity in attack, while also being a solid defender, made him a starter in Real Madrid’s fantastic year last season, assisting the only goal in the Champions League Final. Ronald Araujo has quickly become one of the best and most sought-after defenders in European soccer, playing for Barcelona. Even though his actual position is center back and Uruguay uses him as a right back out of necessity; his strength, athleticism, and youthfulness allow him to do so. Finally, Darwin Nunez, the forward Liverpool just purchased for over $75 million but could end up being over $100 million with add-ons, has been a rising star in European soccer, scoring 34 goals in 41 games. Now at a bigger club, he has the opportunity to prove he is one of the best young strikers in the world. All three will be playing in their first World Cup in Qatar at around 23 years old.

4. Great End of Qualification

At one point in the qualification process, with around four games left, Uruguay was not going to make it to the World Cup. The team was struggling, and after a 3-0 defeat to Bolivia, manager Oscar Tabarez was relieved of his duties after 15 years. New manager Diego Alonso led the team to four straight victories, earning automatic qualification for the World Cup. The team allowed one goal in the final four games, finishing in third place with an 8W-4D-6L record, scoring 22 goals and allowing 22 goals. Alonso began to feature more of the young players on the side, which was a significant boost for the team. The good feelings of the team’s comeback should carry over into the World Cup, as the team has stayed undefeated in friendlies.

5. No Front Runner in Group H

Group H has no clear frontrunner, which may open a door for Uruguay to move on and possibly win the group. Portugal is a good team led by Cristiano Ronaldo, but the team is a little top-heavy, and Uruguay is a solid defensive-minded team. South Korea can not be overlooked because Son Heung-min might be the best player on either side, but Uruguay has a more balanced team. Ghana has a good team, but FIFA ranks them at 60 for a reason, and Uruguay should be able to win that game. Uruguay has the team and experience to be the frontrunner in Group H and make it to the Round of 16.

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