The past
Although futsal's origins can be traced back to Uruguayan soil, the Celeste have yet to firmly establish themselves on the FIFA Futsal World Cup stage. Having failed to qualify for the first two editions of the event, Uruguay finally made their debut at Spain 1996. There, they narrowly missed out on a semi-final berth after coming third in their second-phase group. A first-round exit at Guatemala 2000 was then followed by another qualifying failure on the road to Chinese Taipei 2004. As a result, Brazil 2008 marks the Charrúas' return to the elite event after eight years away.

The present
Relying heavily on the experience of goalkeeper Mauro Roibal and wide man Andres D'Alessandro, both veterans of the 1996 and 2000 campaigns, coach Daniel Darino's charges booked their ticket for Brazil 2008 after taking second spot at the recent Copa America. Nevertheless, the Uruguayans will arrive in Brazil in some disarray. An internal crisis prompted the sacking of coach Daniel Darino and his replacement by Carlos Sanchez, whose arrival provoked the resignations of D'Alessandro and Santiago Blenkleider (two of Uruguay's best players of the qualification tournament). Pablo Lamanna will alos be absent from the team, for separate reasons. 

The future
With only a short time in the job, Sánchez has drawn up a new list of players. Several of the new boys come from Nacional, the club he coached, and Old Christians, the team led by his assistant Daniel Martínez. "My intention is to have a fast team in attack but one with a solid defense. I want our opponents to have problems scoring against us. We have a tough group, but I am confident we can do well", said the coach who also led Uruguay at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Brazil 2005.

The facts
Former stars
Alvaro Pineiro (1996), Daniel Varela (1996), Uriol Nunez (1996), Pablo Lamanna (1996, 2000), Claudio Guerra (1996, 2000), Nicolas Moliterno (2000).

Key players
Pablo Ferragut, Diego Codina, Daniel Laurino, Damián Batpista, Fabián Hernández.

Qualifying statistics
Uruguay finished second at the Copa America, winning three and losing two of their five games. The team scored 16 goals and conceded 19, while Santiago Blenkleider lead the scoring with four strikes.

The numbers game
2 - The number of FIFA Futsal World Cups in which Uruguay have participated.