THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

wsc328 previewWhat are the expectations for the team?
Despite Uruguay's struggles in qualification, expectations are relatively high for the World Cup itself. They are a strong tournament team, have history on their side and surely possess, in Edinson Cavani and Luis Suárez, one of the best strike partnerships in world football. The dream would be to repeat the Maracanazo of 1950, but reaching the last eight is a more realistic goal.

Is the coach popular?
It would be difficult to dislike Óscar Washington Tabárez, a 67-year-old grandfather-like figure who has been in charge of the national team since 2006. There were murmurs of discontent during the qualification process, but his record of tournament success means that most Uruguayans are happy to see him in charge this summer.

Are there any players who have appeared in TV commercials or other advertising?
Suárez stars as the office bad boy in an advert for a financial company that includes a scene in which he falls dramatically to the floor after being tapped on the shoulder by a colleague. Diego Forlán and Diego Lugano feature in less cringeworthy spots for, respectively, government-owned telecommunications company Antel and Cabral, producer of the widely popular health drink Yerba Mate.

Which players are good interviewees and who are 
the worst?
Forlán usually has plenty to say, as does Lugano. "I say what I think without worrying about the reaction of others," Lugano explained after receiving criticism for negative comments regarding Brazil's Neymar. Lugano can, however, turn nasty when he feels journalists are wasting his time – he eventually walked out on an interview with a Chilean journalist last year.

Is there a World Cup song?
An updated live version of Cielo De Un Solo Color (One-Coloured Sky) by No Te Va Gustar, a sing-along, rock-pop track that was a hit during Uruguay's run to the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup, is sure to be popular.

Are then any players with unusual hobbies or business interests?
Winger Cristian Rodríguez owns a ranch in his home town, the historic Colonia del Sacramento, to the west of Montevideo, where he breeds horses. He celebrated Uruguay's qualification with a 105-mile journey from there to the city of Florida on horseback and has promised to ride back to Uruguay from Brazil if the Celeste win the World Cup. Forlan speaks five different languages, to which he will hope to add Japanese after joining Cerezo Osaka in January.

What will the media coverage be like?
The opening match, all of those involving Uruguay and every match from the quarter-final onwards will be broadcast on free-to-air television on three commercial channels. The state broadcaster, TNU, will have reporters in Brazil  for news and analysis, but do not have broadcast rights to any of the matches. Big-name ex-players tend to be attracted to the larger pay packets on offer in Argentina and Mexico, so the TV coverage is usually populated mainly by journalists.

Will there be many fans travelling to the finals ?
Uruguay borders Brazil to the south and the national team will be very well supported this summer. The match against England in São Paulo is the closest of the group-stage matches to the border and is likely to see the biggest turnout. "Soy celeste" (I am sky blue) is their standard chant, while songs referencing the Maracanazo are also likely to prove popular.

What is the local view of the England team?
The players and coaching staff were all very polite and complimentary when England were drawn in Uruguay's group. With Suárez starring for Liverpool, the Premier League is well followed in Uruguay, but a decent proportion of the media and supporters mistakenly conflate the league's strength with that of the national team. Nick Dorrington

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