A dependable midfield strongman, Perez is one of Uruguay’s key men alongside the other two Diegos, captain Lugano and striker Forlan.
Uruguay’s leading newspaper, El Pais, described the Monaco man as “the symbol of the side’s fighting spirit… He runs for every ball, shouts, organises, wins possession, passes and goes up to join the attack”.
He usually plays as defensive midfielder alongside either Gargano or Eguren. One negative is his tendency to pick up bookings.
Perez began his club career with Defensor Sporting and had a brief spell with Penarol before joining Monaco under Didier Deschamps in 2004. He made his international debut in 2001 as part of the Uruguay side that finished fourth at the Copa America.
He was involved in qualifiers for the 2002 and 2006 World Cup, but this will be his first finals - he was overlooked for the final 23-man squad in 2002 and the team failed to qualify in 2006. He played in 14 of the 20 qualifiers for South Africa, only missing games through injury and suspension.
His older brother Omar plays for Spanish side Castellon, who finished bottom of the Spanish second division in 2009/10.
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