1) Luis Suarez
A very obvious choice when it comes to players who will be key in Uruguay’s progression through the World Cup. Luis Suarez had a magnificent season at Liverpool, scoring 31 goals and 12 assists, topping the Barclays Premier League charts and equaling Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal scoring record in a 38-game season.
Suarez is the sort of player you’d much rather have on your team, than have to come up against, as he is an absolute nightmare to defend. He harasses defenders with nutmegs, finding open spaces, and manages to wriggle out of tight areas that seem impossible to escape from. Although overshadowed by Diego Forlan’s master-class performance in the previous World Cup, Suarez has been key for Uruguay for many years now, scoring late winners and creating some unbelievable plays for his team. He is truly one of the best strikers in the world right now and it wouldn’t be rash to bet on him being among the top goal scorers this World Cup.
2) Edinson Cavani
Cavani may not be getting the same amount of attention as he was getting while playing for Napoli, but he has had an excellent season at PSG playing alongside Ibrahimovic and a star-studded cast that eased their way to the Ligue 1 title. Cavani managed 16 goals throughout the season, hardly the numbers we’re used to him getting, but he has become a better all-around striker playing for one of the most exciting teams in Europe.
He is going to be sharing the spotlight with Suarez, so we’ll probably be seeing Cavani in a more subtle role. He’s actually a very versatile striker who puts his shift in for the team no matter what, even converting to a Right Midfielder when needed. Cavani is a deadly finisher with a vicious strike and is wonderful for Uruguay in set-pieces. If Suarez is struggling during a game, Uruguay fans can rest easy knowing Cavani will be there to pick up the slack, if there ever is any with Suarez.
3) Diego Godin
This might be a surprise to some people, as Uruguay have a plethora of attacking options like Gaston Ramirez, Abel Hernandez, Diego Forlan, Christian Stuani, and so on. But I think Godin is going to be an absolutely crucial player in order for Uruguay to progress past the group stages.
Godin has always been a solid Center Back, but has never performed as well as he did this last season with Atletico Madrid. His consistency in the back was a major reason why Atletico was able to keep 19 clean sheets (best in the league) throughout the season helping them clinch the La Liga title and finishing 2nd in the ever prestigious UEFA Champions League. Although, with a lack of pace, Godin’s positioning and tactical soundness is going to be key in giving Uruguay an organized backbone. He is also a threat when it comes to set-pieces, scoring 4 goals this past season, so you can expect him banging home a goal or two if given the chance. After the season he’s had with Atletico, expect Godin to walk into this World Cup with his head held high and to put in an extraordinary defensive performance this tournament.