Versatility has long been a sought-after trait in players, and Maximiliano Pareira is certainly a fine exponent of this quality. Since his debut in 2002 for Defensor Sporting, El Mono has stood out for his capacity to play in any position along the right-hand side, be it as a right-back, winger or as a right-sided attacker.
It was this ability to adapt to different positions that saw the Montevidean first break into the national fold in 2005, and he has been a regular fixture ever since. His debut was in a 3-1 friendly defeat at the hands of Mexico in Guadalajara that October, during Jorge Fossati’s term in charge of La Celeste.
But it was under current coach Oscar Tabarez that Maxi’s international career really took off, appearing in several friendlies in 2006 and starting four matches in the Copa America Venezuela 2007, helping Uruguay to a fourth-place finish along the way.
Pareira moved on to Benfica that year, swiftly establishing himself as an important player with the Portuguese giants. He was a natural selection for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers and played in fifteen of the twenty games on the road to South Africa, absent only due to injuries and suspensions such as that which kept him out of the first leg of the playoff with Costa Rica.
Once fit, Pareira makes a good case for inclusion in any system Tabarez may decide to implement at the finals.