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The Bielsa effect propels Uruguay up the FIFA rankings

The Argentine coach has had an immediate effect with the Charrúas as they rise from 15th to 11th place in the latest FIFA rankings.

Soccer Football - World Cup - South American Qualifiers - Argentina v Uruguay - Estadio La Bombonera, Buenos Aires, Argentina - November 16, 2023 Uruguay coach Marcelo Bielsa before the match REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

The Uruguay national team closes off 2023 on the up. The arrival of Marcelo Bielsa as head coach has given the country and team an emotional boost as they look like a solid bet to secure a place at the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Two recent prestigious victories against Brazil and Argentina outline the progression being made under Bielsa.

The latest FIFA rankings add weight to the progression being made in the nation of just under 3,5 million as Uruguay jump from 15th place to 11 in the latest FIFA rankings published on 30 November.

World Cup holders Argentina retain top spot with only Brazil (in fifth) topping Uruguay in terms of CONMEBOL nations.

Bielsa has been instrumental in bringing through younger player whist keeping faith with some of the old guard such as Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez.

Uruguay's forward Luis Suarez (L) and Uruguay's forward Darwin Nunez
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Uruguay's forward Luis Suarez (L) and Uruguay's forward Darwin Nunez DANTE FERNANDEZAFP

Next up for Uruguay are preparation games ahead of the 2024 Copa América before the World Cup qualifying campaign gets back underway in September of next year.