Edinson Cavani is a born goalscorer. A lethal and opportunistic finisher and surprisingly agile for someone with his imposing frame, he puts his aerial prowess to good use in the box and is a handful for any defence.
Known as El Matador for his killer instinct in front of goal, Cavani served his apprenticeship in his hometown of Salto with Club Salto Uruguay. Aged only 17 he was signed by Danubio, where he made his maiden top-flight appearance in 2006. It proved a wise investment, with the teenager contributing 12 goals to El Franjeado’s league title success.
At the start of the following year he travelled with the U-20 Uruguay team to Paraguay for the South American Championships, ending the tournament as leading marksman with seven goals in nine games as La Celeste won a place at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007. He had no time to celebrate on his return, however, jetting off to Italy on his birthday, 14 February, to sign for Palermo.
Cavani hit two goals in his first six months in Sicily and scored once at Canada 2007, where Uruguay reached the last 16 before going out to USA. Seven months later came his full international debut under Oscar Tabarez. Coming on with 16 minutes to go in a friendly against Colombia in Montevideo, he got on the scoresheet in a 2-2 draw.
He was a familiar face in the CONMEBOL qualifying competition for South Africa 2010, making seven appearances from the bench in all. Though he failed to add to his international tally in those games, he has hit 29 goals in his last three seasons for the high-flying Sicilians, reminding Tabarez that he is a more than capable understudy to first-choice strikers Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez.