Uruguay
© AFP

The past
Once infrequent qualifiers, Uruguay are making sustained progress at this age level and are now preparing for their third consecutive FIFA U-17 World Cup appearance. Quarter-finalists at Italy 1991 and Nigeria 2009, the young Charruas produced their best performance in the competition at Mexico 2011, where they finished runners-up.

The present
Coached once again by Fabian Coito, the man who steered the class of 2011 to second place, Uruguay scored freely at April's South American U-17 Championship in Argentina but left it late to book their place in the UAE. Undefeated in finishing second in their first-round group, the Uruguayans struggled in the six-team final phase. Beaten by Brazil and held to draws by Argentina and Venezuela, Coito’s side only qualified for the world finals on the final day. Front man Franco Acosta was the tournament’s top scorer with eight goals.

The future
World finalists for the sixth time, Uruguay may figure prominently at UAE 2013, having been the top scoring team in the South American qualifiers.