A physically imposing centre-back with good technique and a strong personality, Sebastian Coates was a key figure for Uruguayan giants Nacional by the age of just 19.

 

A product of El Bolso's youth system, Coates had yet to make his first-team debut when, in 2009, he shone for the national youth side that qualified for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt. He made his professional club debut that same year and enjoyed a successful first campaign, winning the Uruguayan championship and reaching the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores.

 

After the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2009, Coates decided against a move to Europe and instead stayed at Nacional, where he soon picked up another league title. El Patrón (The Boss), as he is known, capped 2009 with a call-up to Oscar Tabarez's Uruguay squad for the play-off against Costa Rica for a place at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. He was not used in that game, though, and did not make La Celeste's squad for South Africa 2010.

 

The young defender continued to impress, however, and was eventually given his senior international debut by Tabarez in a friendly ahead of the 2011 Copa America. He then started the continental competition on the bench, but finished as a regular part of the starting line-up.

 

Coates has found his opportunities limited at Liverpool since moving to England, and has so far only featured in two qualifiers for Brazil 2014. He did, however, play in all three of Uruguay's games at the Men's Olympic Football Tournament London 2012, and remains a regular member of Tabarez's senior squad.