Uruguay have gambled on the recovery of Ronald Araujo in naming the Barcelona defender in their 26-man squad for the World Cup in Qatar, while Valencia striker Edinson Cavani also gets the green light despite a recent injury scare.
Araujo, a linchpin of the Uruguayan defence, underwent thigh surgery after an injury while on national team duty in September and has been making a steady recovery, the country’s soccer federation chief said on Thursday.
The inaugural World Cup winners have gone for a mix of youth and experience, including the ageing Luis Suarez, Diego Godin and Cavani in what are almost certain to be their last appearances at soccer’s showpiece event.
The 35-year-old Cavani has netted four times in his seven league games for Valencia this season but faces a race against time to recover from an ankle injury with less than two weeks to go before Uruguay’s opener with South Korea.
Uruguay, who also meet Portugal and Ghana in Group H, have included Real Madrid’s Federico Valverde and Tottenham Hotspur’s Rodrigo Bentancur in the midfield as well as Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez and Giorgian De Arrascaeta of Flamengo among the forwards.
Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Sergio Rochet (Nacional), Sebastian Sosa (Independiente)
Defenders: Jose Maria Gimenez (Atletico Madrid), Sebastian Coates (Sporting CP), Diego Godin (Velez Sarsfield), Martin Caceres (LA Galaxy), Ronald Araujo (Barcelona), Guillermo Varela (Flamengo), Jose Luis Rodriguez (Nacional), Mathias Olivera (Napoli), Matias Vina (Roma)
Midfielders: Lucas Torreira (Galatasaray), Manuel Ugarte (Sporting CP), Matias Vecino (Lazio), Rodrigo Bentancur (Tottenham Hotspur), Federico Valverde (Real Madrid), Facundo Pellistri (Manchester United), Nicolas De La Cruz (River Plate)
Forwards: Agustin Canobbio (Athletico Paranaense), Facundo Torres (Orlando City), Giorgian De Arrascaeta (Flamengo), Maxi Gomez (Trabzonspor), Luis Suarez (Nacional), Edinson Cavani (Valencia), Darwin Nunez (Liverpool)