The Uruguay National Football team, otherwise the La Celeste, or Sky Blue, has been successful over the years, owing to their confidence, discipline and consistency in making appearances in international competitions including the World Cup and Copa America. Led by head coach Oscar Tabarez and captain Diego Godin, the team has won two FIFI World Cup competitions, the first ever world cup in 1930 and in 1950 against Brazil.
With a population of just over 3.4 million, Uruguay is the smallest country to ever win the World Cup. Uruguay have made their home stadium the Estadio Centenario Montevideo a fortress, enjoying victory thanks to their talismanic striker Luis Suarez who happens to be the lead top scorer for the team with 47 goals. He and 9 others have taken the international scene by storm, smiling all the way to the bank, and making this list of the richest Uruguayan football players.
Here are the Top 10 Richest Uruguayan Football Players 2017
10. Abel Hernández $8 million
Hernandez currently plays his football at Hull City FC in England, and has a current market value of $10 million. The secondary striker for both club and country began his football career with Central Español and later Peñarol, and then had a five year spell with Palermo before Hull City broke their club transfer record, signing the $12 million contract in summer 2014 with the player. He was pivotal during Uruguay’s 2011 Copa America triumph.
9. Cristhian Stuani $10 million
The second striker on the list is English Premier League Midlesborugh striker Christhian Stuani. He has played spent most of his time in Spain, most prominently Espanyol. He left for Middlesbrough in 2015 for a rumored $5 million transfer fee. On the international scene, he appeared for Uruguay in the 2015 Copa America, and scored a goal during the Rio World Cup in Brazil. He however was a key figure during the warm-up matches before the world cup and managed to score two sublime goals. At age 30, his experience is proving pivotal in Uruguay’s pursuit of world dominance.
8. Maxi Pereira – $15.5 Million
Portugal and Uruguay national team Maxi Pereira started playing football for Uruguayan cub Defensor, and his performance for the club earned him a call up to Benfica, where he won a total of 8 major trophies in 323 appearances for the club. He has more than 100 caps for the national team, winning the Copa America in 2011 and appearing in two World Cup competitions. He was part of the Benfica team that finished runners up in the Uefa Europa League in two consecutive years between 2012 and 2014.
7. Fernando Muslera- $16.7 million
Fernando Muslera assumes goalkeeping duties at Galatasaray and the Uruguayan national team. The 30 year old began his pro career at Montevideo Wanderers, and then moved to Lazio. In Lazio he managed to win the Coppa Italia Final, and his heroics ignited to Turkish giants Galatasaray where he has won 3 Super Lig titles with the club. He was named the sixth best goalkeeper in the world in 2011 and the seventh the year before.
6. Carlos Sanchez- $16.1 million
Carlos Sanchez plays his club football at Monterrey,Mexico, having started his pro career at Liverpool de Montevideo. From Montevideo he moved to Gudoy Cruz in Argentina and his fine form earned him recognition especially by teams in the Argentine Primera Division. He however moved to Monterrey and has been successful at the Mexican club. He is known to be at his best when in form and the right winger is a regular with the national team.
5. José María Giménez $17.7 million
Atletico Madrid striker Jose Gimenez started his professional football career playing for Danubio FC in Uruguay’s Primera Division. He later signed for Atletico Madrid for $1.05 million to kick start his top flight football. He has played in the 2014 FIFA World Cup representing Uruguay. Prior to that he was involved in the Under 20’s team and lost the 2013 World Cup final game to France. During the 2015 Copa America, he scored the goal that sent them to the knockout stages. He is the youngest player from Uruguay to debut at the World Cup.
4. Álvaro Rafael González – $18 million
Alvaro Gonzalez is Lazio and Uruguay’s central midfielder, having started his career at Defensor in Uruguay, then joined Boca Juniors in Brazil and later Lazio. Since joining Lazio in 2010, he has been one of the most loved outfield players, even making it into the score sheet from midfield. He was loaned out to Torino in the Serie A for six months in February, and then loaned out again to Mexican club Atlas on a season long loan. He has represented Uruguay at the Confederations Cup, Copa America and the FIFA World Cup.
3. Diego Rolan – $18.3 million
Diego Rolan plays for Bordeaux and the Uruguay national team as a central forward. Rolan started off at Defensor Sporting, and after a series of impressive displays up front made his way to French League side Bordeaux in 2013. He was a key figure in Uruguay’s South America Youth Championship 2013 campaign raising eyebrows across Europe and ended up signing for Bordeaux. He has played alongside Edinson Cavani assisting in a couple of occasions.
2. Edinson Cavani – $30 million
Edinson Cavani has on several occasions been referred to as the modern striker for his style of play, and new goal scoring techniques. He started his career at Danubio Montevideo where he showed so much potential, earning a call up to European side Palermo. Four seasons and 38 goals later, he moved to Napoli where he picked up his first major trophy the Coppa Italia. He scored a total of 115 goals for Napoli, and Paris St. Germain broke their club transfer record, paying over $70 million for the striker. He has already won seven major trophies with the club, including 3 Ligue one titles, two Coupe de France cups and two Coupes de la Ligue. He has scored 37 goals in 89 appearances for his country.
1. Luis Suarez – $38 million
After winning the European Golden Shoe with Liverpool in 2014, Luis Suarez moved to Spanish giants Barcelona for a transfer fee in the region of $75 million, earning a place among the world’s most expensive players. Luis Suarez started his decorated career in 2003 playing for Nacional. He has since played for Dutch teams Groningen, and Ajax scoring over 100 league goals for the club.
He later in 2011 signed for Liverpool and went on to become one of the most prolific strikers to grace the English Premier league winning the Golden Boot twice and being named the PFA player of the year in 2014. His move to Barcelona and link up with Messi and Neymar has seen him lift eight trophies in three seasons including the La Liga trophy (twice), the Copa Del Rey (twice), Supa Cop De Espana (once), the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World cup (once). He won the Copa America with Uruguay back in 2011.
While Uruguay has continued to dazzle internationally, most of their players are yet to impress on the international scene. However the new selection of young players is showing promise, being able to sign for big clubs at a young age. Uruguay is a team to watch and the Sky Blues are not looking to take the foot off the gas any time soon.