Andres Scotti knows the meaning of the phrase "better late than never" more than most. At 30 years of age, and some 10 years into his professional career, he received his first call-up from Oscar Tabarez to the senior Uruguay squad, making his debut in a 1-0 friendly win over Northern Ireland in May 2006. Now, four years on, he will relish the prospect of his first FIFA World Cup™ finals.
Excellent in the air and possessing a fearsome right boot, Scotti is primarily a centre-back but can deputise anywhere in the defensive line. The Montevideo native started off his career with a regional Uruguayan club, but went on to make his First Division debut in 1997 with Central Español, before moving on after a few short months to Montevideo Wanderers.
In 1998 he signed for Chilean side Huachipato, but later moved further afield to Mexican club Necaxa, with whom he finished third in the inaugural FIFA World Club Cup in 2000. After a brief spell with Puebla, Scotti returned once more to Wanderers before making his way in 2002 to Nacional, the club he professes to support.
After a successful season there, Scotti made the move to European football when he signed for Russian side Rubin Kazan in 2003. That year saw him voted the league’s best foreign defender, and he came close to repeating the feat two years later when he finished as the top-scoring defender in the league, racking up five goals.
On the international stage, Scotti lined up for the Celeste in the Copa America 2007 and started the first three 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa qualifiers. Although later dropped from the starting eleven, he remained in contention for a place and made a triumphant return in the return leg play-off against Costa Rica, when he crossed for Sebastian Abreu to fire the goal that sent Uruguay to the World Cup.