FACTBOX-Soccer-Teams in Copa America Group C

Reuters

Thu, 30 Jun 03:00:00 2011

Factbox on the teams in Group C at the Copa America in Argentina starting on Friday:

URUGUAY

* Winners: 1916, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1926, 1935, 1942, 1956, 1959, 1967, 1983, 1987, 1995.

FORM

* Uruguay crushed Estonia 3-0 in their final warm-up match after surprisingly losing to the Europeans in Tallinn in March. Between those two outings they beat the Netherlands on penalties in Montevideo, exacting some revenge for their World Cup semi-final defeat, and lost to Germany in a repeat of their World Cup third-place playoff.

* The 2010 World Cup campaign suggested Uruguay had returned to the glory of their early days and they pose a serious threat to the duopoly of Brazil and Argentina at this Copa.

COACH

* Oscar Washington Tabarez remains in charge after Uruguay's fabulous World Cup in South Africa. Now five years at the helm, this is his second stint in the job. The previous period included the 1989 Copa America, where Uruguay lost 2-0 to Brazil in the final, and the 1990 World Cup, where they reached the second round. The 64-year-old made his name by winning the Libertadores Cup in 1987 with Uruguayan giants Penarol.

LEADING PLAYER

* Player of the tournament and joint top scorer at last year's World Cup, Diego Forlan has become one of the most recognisable faces in world football. He has been at Atletico Madrid for the last four seasons and twice finished as top scorer in the Spanish league and twice won the European Golden Boot. Deadly from free kicks and in combination with Uruguay's other world class forward, Luis Suarez.

TACTICS: 4-3-1-2

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CHILE

* Runners-up: 1955, 1956, 1979, 1987.

FORM

* Chile are unbeaten in 2011. They beat Colombia and drew with Portugal in friendlies in March and then demolished a poor Estonia side 4-0 this month before earning a respectable goalless draw in Paraguay in their final warm-up match.

* Despite their stylish approach play, Chile look weak in front of goal. Humberto Suazo is their main target man but is still carrying the shoulder injury that ruined his 2010 World Cup. They have drafted journeyman striker Mauricio Pinilla following his recent renaissance at Italian side Palermo.

COACH

* Argentine Claudio Borghi took over in February after months of turmoil in the Chilean football federation, which began with the resignation of Borghi's predecessor and compatriot Marcelo Bielsa.

* Borghi knows Chilean football well, having played for and coached the country's top side Colo Colo. He led the club to four consecutive league titles in 2006-07. This is his first job in charge of a national side.

LEADING PLAYER

* Right winger Alexis Sanchez caught the eye of Europe's big clubs during a red-hot season at Serie A side Udinese. With his stepovers and tricks, the 22-year-old has been likened to Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo. Frustrating rather than effective at the World Cup last year, he has shown signs of maturity since and was voted player of the year in Italy by Gazzetta dello Sport.

TACTICS: 3-3-1-3

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PERU

* Winners in 1939 and 1975.

FORM

* Peru have scored one goal in their last four matches. They beat Senegal 1-0 in their final warm-up after goalless draws against Ecuador, Japan and Czech Republic.

* The only way to go is up for Peru, following their woeful qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup, when they finished bottom of the South American group. A regional power during the 1970s, they now find themselves among the also-rans.

COACH

* Uruguayan Sergio Markarian, in charge since July 2010, is one of the most experienced coaches at the Copa America having worked in club football in Greece, Paraguay, Mexico, Peru and Chile. He coached Paraguay at the 2001 Copa America.

LEADING PLAYERS

* Much of the real talent in the Peruvian squad has pulled out through injury. First it was veteran striker Claudio Pizarro with a bad knee, then Schalke 04 winger Jefferson Farfan succumbed to a torn muscle in his right leg. That leaves Fiorentina's Juan Manuel Vargas as their most experienced player and he too is recovering from injury. Hamburg's Paolo Guerrero is likely to lead the attack.

TACTICS: 4-3-3

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MEXICO

* Runners-up: 1993, 2001.

FORM

* Free-scoring Mexico breezed through to the final of June's CONCACAF Gold Cup against weak Central American and Caribbean opposition and then came from 2-0 down to beat the United States 4-2 in the final.

* Mexico, who are not part of the South American Football Confederation and take part in the Copa by invitation, place greater importance on the CONCACAF tournament and will field an Olympic team with five over-age players in Argentina.

* Their preparations have been rocked the suspension by the Mexican federation of eight squad members for indiscipline on their way to Argentina. The eight have been replaced.

COACH

* Luis Fernando Tena, head coach Juan Manuel de la Torre's assistant, will be in charge.

LEADING PLAYER

* At the age of 22, attacking midfielder Giovani Dos Santos has played for top clubs in England, Turkey and Spain is one of the great hopes of Mexican football. He is dangerous in tight spaces and packs a powerful left-foot shot.

TACTICS: 4-4-1-1

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