World Cup 2022 12/02 15:00 3 [2] Ghana v Uruguay [4] W 0-2
World Cup 2022 11/28 19:00 2 [1] Portugal v Uruguay [3] L 2-0
World Cup 2022 11/24 13:00 1 Uruguay v South Korea D 0-0
International Match 09/27 16:00 - Canada v Uruguay W 0-2
International Match 09/23 16:00 - Uruguay v Iran L 0-1
International Match 06/11 20:00 - Uruguay v Panama W 5-0
International Match 06/05 21:00 - USA v Uruguay D 0-0
International Match 06/03 02:00 - Mexico v Uruguay W 0-3
South America - World Cup Qualifying 03/29 23:30 18 [7] Chile v Uruguay [4] W 0-2
South America - World Cup Qualifying 03/24 23:30 17 [4] Uruguay v Peru [5] W 1-0
South America - World Cup Qualifying 02/01 23:00 16 [6] Uruguay v Venezuela [10] W 4-1
South America - World Cup Qualifying 01/27 23:00 15 [9] Paraguay v Uruguay [7] W 0-1


Matches played 12 5 7
Wins 8 3 5
Draws 2 1 1
Losses 2 1 1
Goals for 20 10 10
Goals against 4 2 2
Clean sheets 9 3 6
Failed to score 4 2 2

The Uruguay national football team (Spanish: Selección de fútbol de Uruguay) represents Uruguay in international football, and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The Uruguayan team is commonly referred to as La Celeste (The Sky Blue).

Uruguay has won the Copa América 15 times. They are tied with Argentina for the most titles in the history of the tournament. Uruguay won their most recent title in 2011. Additionally, Uruguay are the holders of four FIFA World Championships: The team has won the FIFA World Cup twice, including the first World Cup in 1930 as hosts, defeating Argentina 4–2 in the final. Their second title came in 1950, upsetting host Brazil 2–1 in the final match, which had the highest attendance for a football match ever. Uruguay has also won gold medals at the Olympic football tournament twice, in 1924 and 1928. The gold medals received at the 1924 and 1928 Summer Olympics are recognized by FIFA as senior FIFA World Championships.


The golden era

Although the first match ever recorded by an Uruguayan side was played on 16 May 1901 against Argentina, this is not considered an official game due to the match not having been organized by Uruguay's Football Association but rather by Albion F.C. in its home field in Paso del Molino. The Uruguayan side had nine players from that club and the remainder from Nacional. The match considered the first official game played by Uruguay was held in the same venue, on 20 July 1902 against Argentina. Argentina defeated the Uruguayan side by 6–0 in front of 8,000 spectators. Uruguay line-up was: Enrique Sardeson; Carlos Carve Urioste, Germán Arímalo; Miguel Nebel (c), Alberto Peixoto, Luis Carbone; Bolívar Céspedes, Gonzalo Rincón, Juan Sardeson, Ernesto Boutón Reyes, Carlos Céspedes. Prior to 1916, Uruguay played more than 30 matches, of which all but one were against Argentina. The inaugural Copa America provided Uruguay with more varied opposition. Victories over Chile and Brazil, along with a tie against Argentina, enabled Uruguay to win the tournament. The following year Uruguay hosted the competition, and retained the title by winning every game. The 1919 Copa América saw Uruguay's first defeat in the tournament, a 1–0 defeat in a playoff with Brazil which went to two periods of extra time, the longest Copa América match in history.[]

In 1924, the Uruguay team traveled to Paris to become the first South American team to compete in the Olympic Games. In contrast to the physical style of the European teams of the era, Uruguay played a style based around short passes, and won every game, defeating Switzerland 3–0 in the gold medal match. In the 1928 Summer Olympics, Uruguay went to Amsterdam to defend their title, again winning the gold medal after defeating Argentina 2–1 in the replay of the final (the first match was a draw after extra time).

Following the double Olympic triumph, Uruguay was chosen as the host nation for the first World Cup, held in 1930, the centenary of Uruguay's first constitution. During the World Cup, Uruguay won all its matches, and converted a 1–2 halftime deficit to a 4–2 victory against Argentina at the Estadio Centenario. Due to the refusal of some European teams to participate in the first World Cup, the Uruguayan Football Association urged other countries to reciprocate by boycotting the 1934 World Cup played in Italy. For the 1938 World Cup, France was chosen as host, contrary to a previous agreement to alternate the championships between South America and Europe, so Uruguay again refused to participate.


Uruguay again won the World Cup in 1950, beating hosts Brazil in one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history. The decisive match was at the Maracanã Stadium in Brazil. Uruguay came from behind to beat the host nation in a match which would become known as the Maracanazo. Many Brazilians had to be treated for shock after the event, such was the surprise of Uruguay's victory.

After their fourth-place finish in the 1954 World Cup, the team had mixed performances and after the fourth-place finish in 1970, their dominance, quality and performance dropped. They were no longer a world football power and failed to qualify for the World Cup on five occasions in the last nine competitions. They reached an all-time low and at one time ranked 76th in the FIFA World Rankings.


In 2010, however, a new generation of footballers, led by Luis Suárez, Diego Forlán and Edinson Cavani, formed a team considered to be Uruguay's best in the last four decades, catching international attention after finishing fourth in the 2010 World Cup. Uruguay opened the tournament with a goalless draw against France, followed by defeats of South Africa (3–0) in and Mexico (1–0) respectively, finishing at the top of their group with seven points. In the second round, they played South Korea, defeating them 2–1 with star striker Luis Suárez scoring a brace and earning Uruguay a spot in the quarter-finals for the first time since 1970. Against Ghana, the match finished 1–1, forcing the game into extra-time. Both sides had their chances at extra time but Suárez blocked the ball with his hand in the penalty area, earning Suárez a red card and earning Uruguay universal scorn. Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan missed the subsequent penalty, forcing the game to go into penalties where Uruguay would win 4–2, sending them into the last four. They played the Netherlands in the semi-finals but were beaten 3–2. For the third-place match, they played Germany, again losing 3–2. This placed Uruguay in fourth place for the tournament, their best result in 40 years. Diego Forlan was awarded the Player of The Tournament.

A year later, they won the Copa America for the first time in 16 years and broke the record for the most successful team in South America. Luis Suárez ended up as the Player of The Tournament. In the 2014 World Cup Uruguay was placed in Group D alongside Costa Rica, England, and Italy. They were upset by Costa Rica in the opening match, losing 3–1 despite taking the lead in the first half. They rebounded with a 2–1 victory over England, in which Suárez scored a brace right after coming back from an injury, and a 1–0 victory over Italy, placing them second in their group and earning a spot in the last 16. During the match against Italy, forward Luis Suárez bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on his left shoulder. Two days after the match, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee banned Suárez for nine international matches, the longest such ban in World Cup history, exceeding the eight-match ban handed to Italy's Mauro Tassotti for breaking the nose of Spain's Luis Enrique in 1994. Suárez was also banned from taking part in any football-related activity (including entering any stadium) for four months and fined CHF100,000 (approx. £65,700/€82,000/US$119,000). In the round of 16, Uruguay played Colombia but were beaten 2–0, eliminating them from the tournament.

At the 2015 and 2016 Copa América, Uruguay, missing banned striker Luis Suárez, were eliminated in the quarter-finals and group stages respectively. After a successful World Cup qualifying campaign, finishing second, Uruguay made it to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Uruguay won its group after three victories, and advanced to the quarter-finals after a 2–1 win over Portugal. However, they were eliminated 2–0 in the quarter-finals by the eventual champions France.