The Copa America’s flight has finally landed in Brazil, with the South-American continent gears up to prepare for a summer of football. One team which will look to be crowned champions at Copa America 2021 is Uruguay.
La Celeste is one of the most glorious teams in the history of the competition. But a quarter-final curse has been hindering their chances of silverware, something they would want to change this summer.
Oscar Tabarez has chosen a roster full of experience but will they miss the injection of pace or will the chosen young guns prove themselves on the biggest stage?
From Saurez, their goal-scoring machine, to Bentancur, a genius in midfield, FootThBall digs deep to figure out how can the team in sky blue repeat their earlier heroics?
AN ATTACK FULL OF POACHERS.
La Celeste will once again bank on experience going into this year’s Copa America. Atletico Madrid striker Luis Suarez is back on international duty after dominating the whole of Spain lifting the La Liga title.
— Luis Suarez (@LuisSuarez9) June 2, 2021
Edinson Cavani is another experienced campaigner part of Uruguay’s roster. The Uruguayan Red Devil has turned into a beast since he arrived at the Theatre. With years of experience in their ranks, Oscar Tabarez would look to end Uruguay’s quarter-final curse.
The striker-duo of Cavani and Suarez are the perfect poachers who never need a second opportunity to bang in a goal. Although the two of them lack pace and won’t be helping their defence for most parts, Uruguay’s legends will look to break the deadlock in every match.
Another striker who has marched into Tabarez’s squad is their Benfica striker Darwin Nunez. A wonderful and enthusiastic number-9 has the pace of a cheetah and is known for shooting rockets. Cavani’s and Suarez’s understudy, Nunez could be Uruguay’s dark-horse. He could instill the much-required injection of energy in the attack and could fall back to fill in the holes.
Five games, five goals. Darwin Nuñez has enjoyed life in the Europa League this season 🔥👏
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) February 12, 2021
The poacher-duo combined with a passionate and determined youngster, Tabarez’s striking options are wide open. With a roster like this, La Celeste could be scoring goals for fun this summer.
Another potent weapon Uruguay possess is in their midfield. A stalwart in Italy, Rodrigo Bentancur of Juventus has turned out one of the biggest revelations in Italy. Guiding the Zebras to 2 domestic silverware, Bentancur has been the fulcrum of Pirlo’s midfield.
Rodrigo Bentancur cannot be deemed spectacular or picturesque, but the Uruguayan playmaker is steadily improving at the core of Juve’s power chamber and is rapidly establishing himself as one of the best midfielders in town. The lanky Uruguayan, stood head and shoulders above others in the Serie-A something he would look to replicate in Copa America.
The second sword in Uruguay’s midfield arsenal is Los Blancos’ Federico Valverde. A household name in Spain, Valverde perfectly fits the role of a defensive midfielder. Creating counter-attacks, defending for his team, and finding inch-perfect passes are a few of his many traits. Valverde has always been a crucial part of Zidane’s master plan and the Madrid man will also feature in Tabarez’s Copa America blueprint.
The final bomb in the midfield is Arsenal and Atletico Madrid playmaker Lucas Torreira. The ex-Gunners man has been quite useful during his time at the Emirates. Unfortunately, Torreira is the weak link in Tabarez’s roster. Also, the three midfielders lack a bit of pace and aren’t technically blessed like other midfielders in the world.
Tabarez would still count on the trio to produce some magic in the middle of the park because without a strong midfield display, Uruguay’s chances to lift silverware are quite slim.
An area of worry for La Celeste is the lack of ideas in their defence. Though it boasts of big names with glittering careers, it’s a defence that’ll clear the ball without thinking twice. A No-Nonsense style of play might seem fascinating; it puts unnecessary pressure in some situations.
Also the most experienced player in defence, Diego Godin is on the verge of retirement and his glory days are past him. He lacks the pace and defensive ability to compete against young blood.
One thing that might favour Tabarez is the selection of Ronald Araujo. The young Barcelona centre-back had a career-defining campaign defending against some of the LaLiga greats.
— Ronald Araujo (@RonaldAraujo939) October 6, 2020
Atletico Madrid centre-back Jose Gimenez might walk into any Uruguayan eleven. Once again, the weight will be on his shoulders to carry his defence and help his strikers.
With Copa America just a week away, it’s quite easy to say that Uruguay’s experience is their biggest strength. With world-class players on the Copa America flight, Tabarez will look to lift silverware at the end of the campaign.