The 10 Best Uruguayan Players in History

Best Uruguayan Players in History: The Uruguayan team is one of the teams with the most historical importance worldwide. For many, the fact that a country of just over three million inhabitants has been the cradle of so many epic feats and talented players cannot be explained. However, the same Uruguayans take it upon themselves to explain that football is in their blood and they experience it like no other.

In general, it is common to define the Uruguayan soccer player as a leader, a player who leaves everything on the field, or a man who does not leave any ball undisputed.

Best Uruguayan Players in History

For this reason, they have been able, from the very origins of world soccer, to be a soccer power that has remained until today. For this reason, today we will highlight the career of ten Uruguayan players who, according to us, are the best in their entire history.

10. Diego Lugano

  • Full Name: Diego Alfredo Lugano Morena
  • Date of Birth: 2 November 1980
  • Height: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
  • Position(s): Centre back

The player who is ranked 10th on our list is the renowned defender Diego Lugano. He was a dedicated captain and leader who represented the Uruguayan team in more recent years.

During his time as captain, the Uruguayan team had a strong defense, thanks to the excellent partnership of central defenders formed by Lugano and Diego Godín. They were incredibly difficult to break through. Some of Lugano’s notable accomplishments include:

  • Champion of the Copa America 2011
  • Club World Cup Champion with Sao Paulo (2005)
  • Champion of the Copa Libertadores with Sao Paulo (2005)
  • 2 national championships with Nacional, 2 with Sao Paulo, and 4 with Fenerbahçe.
  • The ninth player with the most matches in the national team (95).

9. Ángel Romano

  • Full Name: Alfredo Angel Romano
  • Date of Birth: August 2, 1893, 1
  • Position: Forward

In our ranking, the ninth position is occupied by a true legend of world football. Ángel “El Loco” Romano may not be a familiar name to many people, mainly because he played from 1910 to 1930. However, Romano is considered one of the most accomplished players in the history of Uruguayan football.

  • Champion of the Copa América six times: 1916, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1926.
  • Champion of the 1924 Olympic Games.
  • He played 9 Copa América tournaments
  • 8 national trophies with Nacional de Uruguay
  • Fifth top scorer in the history of the Uruguayan team (28 goals in 69 games).

8. Jose Leandro Andrade

  • Full Name: José Leandro Andrade
  • Date of Birth: 22 November 1901
  • Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
  • Position(s): Defensive midfielder

In our ranking, we have the eighth spot reserved for a remarkable black talent in the history of Uruguay. This extraordinary player was lovingly known as The Black Wonder and had a distinctive style of playing as a striker.

Among the players on this list, Andrade is one of the few who can proudly claim to be a World Champion, Copa América Champion, and an Olympic Games gold medalist. Let’s take a look at some of his notable achievements:

  • Champion of the Copa América on three occasions (1923,1924 and 1925).
  • World Cup Champion (1930).
  • Double Olympic medalist (Gold) at the 1924 and 1928 Olympic Games.

7. Hector Scarone

  • Full Name: Héctor Pedro Scarone Berreta
  • Date of Birth: 26 November 1898
  • Height: 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)
  • Position(s): Inside forward

Héctor “El Mago” Scarone was a famous soccer player from Uruguay known for being an excellent forward. He scored a lot of goals and held the record for being the top scorer in the history of his national team for a long time. However, in 2011, someone else surpassed his record and became the new top scorer.

Scarone was also a legendary player for Nacional, a club in Uruguay. He played for them for almost his entire career and was greatly admired. He was also a key player for the national team and contributed to their biggest achievements. Some of his notable accomplishments include winning important tournaments and making Uruguay proud.

  • Champion of the Copa América four times (1917,1923,1924 and 1925).
  • World Cup Champion (1930).
  • Double Olympic medalist (Gold) at the 1924 and 1928 Olympic Games.
  • Champion of 22 national titles with Club Nacional.
  • Champion of 23 international titles with Club Nacional.
  • Champion of the Copa del Rey and the Catalan Championship with FC Barcelona (1926).
  • Fourth all-time top scorer for the national team (31 goals in 52 games).

6. Alcides Ghiggia

  • Full Name: Alcides Edgardo Ghiggia Pereyra
  • Date of Birth: 22 December 1926
  • Height: 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)
  • Position(s): Winger

The event known as the Maracanazo is widely recognized worldwide. It refers to the remarkable achievement when Uruguay, in the World Cup final, defeated Brazil in their own home stadium, leaving 200,000 Brazilians in disbelief.

However, it is often overlooked in history books that this extraordinary feat would not have been possible without the goals scored by Alcides Ghiggia. As an Italian-Uruguayan striker, he was responsible for scoring the second goal that silenced the Maracana and completed the most legendary accomplishment in World Cup history. Ghiggia’s contribution solidifies his status as an immortal football legend.

  • Alcides Ghiggia
  • 1950 World Cup Champion
  • Historical player of Peñarol.

5. Obdulio Varela

  • Full Name: Obdulio Jacinto Muiños Varela
  • Date of Birth: September 20, 1917
  • Height: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
  • Position(s): Holding midfielder, Centre back

Obdulio Varela is widely regarded as the greatest captain in the history of the Uruguayan national team. He was affectionately called “El Negro Jefe” and played as a central defender. Varela is famously known for delivering a motivating phrase that inspired the Uruguayan team to win the 1950 World Cup final:

“Don’t think about all those people, don’t look up, the game is played down. If we win, nothing will happen; nothing ever happened. Those outside are made of wood, but on the field, we will be eleven against eleven. The game is won with the determination and courage we put into every step we take.”

  • 1950 World Cup Champion
  • 1942 America’s Cup Champion
  • Ídolo de Peñarol, a club where he won six national titles.

4. Luis Suarez

  • Full Name: Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz
  • Date of Birth: 24 January 1987
  • Height: 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
  • Position(s): Striker

Luis Alberto Suárez is a remarkable player who is still actively playing and making a significant impact on the field. He is widely known as “El Pistolero” and has earned legendary status not only in Uruguayan football but also in European football as a whole. His time at Barcelona has solidified his position as one of the greatest players in the history of the Catalan team.

Suárez initially gained prominence during his tenure at Liverpool, where he is revered as a club legend. However, his most successful years came alongside Lionel Messi at FC Barcelona, where he achieved almost everything he competed for. Suárez’s relentless goal-scoring instinct and his ability to create plays have made him one of the world’s best players for several years. Let’s take a look at some of his notable achievements:

  • Champion of the Copa America 2011
  • All-time top scorer for the Uruguayan team (63 goals in 116 games).
  • Champion of the UEFA Champions League with FC Barcelona (2014-2015).
  • Third all-time top scorer for FC Barcelona (198 goals).
  • Double winner of the Golden Boot (2014 and 2016)
  • Winner of 10 national titles with FC Barcelona.
  • Fourth place in the 2010 World Cup.

3. Diego Forlan

  • Full Name: Diego Martín Forlán Corazo
  • Date of Birth: 19 May 1979
  • Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
  • Position(s): Forward

Diego Forlán is a widely recognized player who is known for his incredible skills on the field. He was often referred to as “Cachavacha Forlán” due to his exceptional ability to score difficult and remarkable goals. One of his notable achievements was his remarkable performance in the 2010 World Cup, where he demonstrated his mastery of the challenging Jabulani ball.

However, it would be unfair to only focus on that particular accomplishment, as Forlán is regarded as one of the greatest forwards in the history of Uruguay. Let’s take a look at some key highlights from Diego Forlán’s career:

  • 2011 Copa America champion
  • Fourth place in the 2010 World Cup (MVP)
  • Golden Ball of the 2010 World Cup
  • Best goal of the 2010 World Cup
  • Fifth place in the 2010 Ballon d’Or
  • Premier League Champion (Manchester United)
  • Intertoto champion with Villarreal (2004)
  • Champion of the UEFA Europa League and the European Super Cup with Atlético de Madrid (2009-2010).
  • Double winner of the Golden Boot (2004-2005 and 2008-2009).

2. Enzo Francescoli

  • Full Name: Enzo Francescoli Uriarte
  • Date of Birth: 12 November 1961
  • Height: 5 ft 11+1⁄4 in (1.81 m)
  • Position(s): Attacking midfielder

Enzo Francescoli is a well-known player among River Plate fans. Throughout his career, he was affectionately called “El Príncipe” (The Prince). He was a skillful striker who played for renowned clubs in Europe, but his most memorable moments were at River Plate.

He holds the record for being the highest-scoring foreign player in the history of River Plate. One of his notable achievements was winning the coveted Copa Libertadores and leading River to success once again. However, these accomplishments are just a glimpse of the many achievements of the remarkable Enzo Francescoli.

  • Three-time Copa América champion (1983, 1987 and 1995)
  • Top foreign scorer in the history of River Plate (136 goals).
  • Champion of the Copa Libertadores (1996).
  • Champion of the South American Super Cup (1996).

1. Juan Alberto Schiaffino

  • Full Name: Juan Alberto Schiaffino Villano
  • Date of Birth: 28 July 1925
  • Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
  • Position(s): Attacking Midfielder/Forward

Juan Alberto Schiaffino is considered the best Uruguayan player in history. He was a fantastic striker who played for Club Atlético Peñarol and became one of their greatest idols. Schiaffino played a key role in Uruguay’s victory in the 1950 World Cup, and he was the first great player from his country.

In Italy, Schiaffino played for AC Milan and is remembered fondly for his time there. He won four titles with the club. Although he was a striker, Schiaffino was known for his intelligent passes and his deep understanding of the game. Because of his exceptional skills, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest South American players of all time.

  • 1950 World Cup Champion
  • Champion of Serie A and the Latin Cup with AC Milan.
  • Winner of four national titles with Peñarol.

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