FIFA U-20 World Cup record
Uruguay will be playing in their 14th U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic. They have never won the tournament, but have twice made it to the final, losing out to Argentina at Malaysia 1997 and a Paul Pogba-inspired France at Turkey 2013. They also reached the semi-finals at Nigeria 1999, where they were beaten by Japan. They were knocked out in the Round of 16 last time out, at New Zealand 2015, succumbing to Brazil on penalties after the tie had finished goalless.
The road to Korea Republic
La Celeste qualified in style by winning the South American U-20 Championship for the first time since 1981. Having agonisingly missed out on the title in 2015, when they hosted the tournament, they made amends this year in Ecuador, where their solid unit and defensive resilience provided a platform for their attacking talents to shine. Tellingly, they were the competition's joint-top scorers alongside Ecuador, while they conceded an average of less than a goal a game (0.88). Rodrigo Bentancur showed his class in midfield, while his namesake Rodrigo Amaral – a veteran of New Zealand 2015 – and the hard-running Facundo Waller again proved themselves livewires going forward. The versatile Nicolas Schiappacasse is another influential figure in attack.
Fabian Coito has earned his stripes with his assured stewardship and youth-development exploits in his native Uruguay. After plying his trade at the Central Espanol and Penarol academies, in 2007 he was brought in by the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) to coach the U-15 national team, after which he steadily rose through the ranks. He guided the country to a runners-up finish at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011 and was at the helm of the U-20s for their adventure in New Zealand in 2015.
18 – The number of goals racked up by La Celeste at the 2017 South American U-20 Championship, where they averaged two strikes per match. Amaral was their most prolific marksman with five goals, while Schiappacasse and Nicolas de la Cruz both found the net three times.