Uruguay U20 side inspired by phenomenal success of first team at World Cup.
FIFA U20 World Cup
29 July - 20 August 2011
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Samuel Philip Steinbock
Colombia 2011 will be Uruguay's third consecutive appearance at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, following their elimination in the Round of 16 in both 2007 and 2009.
Led by Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Napoli's much coveted Edison Cavani in 2007, strikers Federico Rodriguez and Adrian Luna will be hoping to lead their team to success in Columbia.
After the phenomenal success enjoyed by Uruguay's senior side at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, it would appear to have motivated the country's youth teams even further.
At the South American U-20 Championship earlier this year, La Celeste became the first team (apart from the hosts) to secure their berth at Colombia 2011, while simultaneously qualifying for their first Olympic Football Tournament in 84 years.
Despite a mixed qualifying campaign, finishing third in the opening group phase with four points, the team grew in confidence under Coach Juan Verzeri and managed three wins and a draw in the hexagonal final phase. However, after securing a top-two finish, they were brought back down to Earth with a heavy 5-0 defeat to Brazil. This didn't stop them from celebrating in style though.
The South American side will be hoping to reach the final eight as a minimum but will need to improve their finishing, as they only scored 10 goals in nine qualifying games.
This will be their third successive Under-20 World Cup and they have the players and the talent to make a mark on Uruguayan history, especially as, aside from Portugal 1991, Uruguay have always reached the knockout stages when competing at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.