After a 20-year absence, Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez took the team to the World Cup again.
Tabarez coached Uruguay at the World Cup 1990 in Italy, and he would be happy to have the same success when his team plays in Group A with host South Africa, France and Mexico at this year’s tournament.
In 1990, a Uruguay team boasting stars like Enzo Francescoli and Ruben Sosa reached the second round but lost to Italy 2-0. The result put Tabarez under fire and finally sent him packing.
Without Tabarez, Uruguay looked even worse. In the year of 1994, 1998 and 2006, the team did not qualify for the World Cup. The only fresh air came in 2002 when coach Victor Pua steered the team to South Korea/Japan, but did not make it to the knockout stage. Of course, Uruguay has a glorious World Cup history, winning the first tournament in 1930 and then again in 1950 in Brazil. The team also finished fourth at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.
But in the latest World Cup tournaments, Uruguay hardly captured the soccer fans’ hearts. Since 1970, Uruguay has won only one World Cup game in 13 matches, beating South Korea 1-0 in 1990 with Tabarez as coach.