As of May 17, 2018, the Uruguayan team ranks 17th in the FIFA ranking.
English workers brought football to Uruguay in the late XIX century. The game soon became the national sport of a small state. It is thanks to the Uruguayans that the English style of “kick and rush” has acquired modern forms of a combination game. Footballers of Uruguay used dribbling, short pass, fast counterattacking game.
In 1924 Uruguayans were able to show their highest level of play on the world stage. The team, consisting of simple workers – butchers, shoe cleaners and shopkeepers – went third class to France to participate in the Olympic Games. The trip was financed by donations and benefit friendly matches, held along the road. Arriving in Paris, “Urus” in a brilliant style held the tournament and defeated the Swiss team in the final 3: 0.
The first postwar world championship in 1950 was held in Brazil. The home team were considered favorites of the championship. In the decisive match, teams of Brazil and Uruguay met. Uruguayans during the championship showed an uncertain game, however, in the last match, losing in the course of the home team, pulled out at the last minute victory with a score of 2-1 thanks to the goals of Juan Alberto Sciaffino (the greatest Uruguayan footballer of the 20th century) and Alcides Gigi. The defeat hit the Brazilian fans in shock. Three people died at the stadium from a heart attack, one committed suicide. In neighboring Uruguay, there was a holiday again. This match was later called “Marakanas”.
The Uruguayan national team is one of the most titled football teams. The Uruguayans scored two victories in the World Cup (1930 and 1950), two wins at the Olympic Games (1924 and 1928), 15 victories in the America’s Cup (South America’s record) and the victory at the World Cup Gold Cup (1981). The Uruguayan team is the first team in the world to win all three prestigious national teams (World Cup, Olympic Games and Continental Championship).
It is also interesting that in 1970 in the quarter finals Uruguay beat the USSR team 1: 0.