The team: Uruguay were one of the star performers at the previous FIFA World Cup in South Africa, finishing fourth after a strong, albeit controversial, run to the semi-finals (Ghana will probably never forgive Luis Suarez for his deliberate handball in the quarters). Qualifying for Brazil was far from plain sailing for the South Americans, who finished fifth in their group and had to see off Jordan in a playoff to advance. However, four years ago they also had to win a playoff to qualify for the tournament. And if history is repeating itself, expect another impressive showing.
The coach: Oscar Washington Tabarez
Following an unassuming playing career as a defender, Oscar Washington Tabarez took a sabbatical to become a primary school teacher before embarking on a coaching career that has included spells at AC Milan and Boca Juniors. He is highly-respected in Uruguay for leading the nation to the semi-finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which was their best performance in 40 years.
Key player: Luis Suarez
He may divide opinion for some of the less savoury aspects of his character, but there’s no denying he is a world-class striker and arguably the best in the world at the moment. He’ll most likely form a deadly partnership up front with Edison Cavani, giving Uruguay some substantial firepower.
World ranking: 6
World Cup appearances: 11
Previous best: Winners in 1930 and 1950
Qualification: Via playoff
Form (qualifiers): LDLWWWLWWD
Fixtures: June 14 vs. Costa Rica; June 19 vs. England; June 24 vs. Italy