The team’s captain is a strong, powerful centre-back in the traditional Uruguayan mould and an excellent reader of the game. His goal against Costa Rica earned a crucial away victory in the first-leg of the World Cup play-offs. He first captained his country in a 2-1 defeat to England at Anfield in March 2006.
The 29-year-old was a relatively late developer and was still playing amateur football at the age of 18. He began his professional career with Nacional in 1999, but after only a handful of appearances joined Plaza Colonia on loan and then in 2002 moved to Brazilian giants Sao Paulo.
A successful four years in Brazil saw him skipper Sao Paulo to the Copa Libertadores and the Club World Cup, both in 2005.
A €6.2m move to Europe with Turkish club Fenerbahce followed in 2006, where he added another league winner’s medal in 2006/07. He made 25 Super Lig appearances this season as Fenerbahce missed out on the league title by one point, and was on the losing side in the Turkish Cup final.
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