Nicolas Lodeiro is one of the brightest talents to emerge from Uruguayan football in recent years and, at 24, is yet to reach his peak. The midfielder’s character, all-round ability, intelligence and explosiveness make him a constant threat in the final third.
The Paysandu native made his debut with Nacional aged just 18 and made waves in 2009 with some sensational displays. His four goals were instrumental in his side reaching the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores and he also helped Uruguay qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009.
He capped dazzling performances at that competition with winning the league title in 2008/09, inevitably cathcing the eye of national team coach Oscar Tabarez. Although Lodeiro did not feature at all during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifying campaign, he started both play-off matches against Costa Rica.
That helped earn him a place in Uruguay’s squad for the tournament, where he appeared three times as a substitute. Lodeiro was given a similar role at the Copa America 2011, although he did start one match there. However, a year later at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament the midfielder was given a starting berth in all three games.
Now a key player for Botafogo, Lodeiro continues to offer Uruguay a variety of options in attacking midfield.