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World Cup One To Watch: Uruguay’s 24-year-old playmaker Giorgian De Arrascaeta

Giorgian De Arrascaeta
Photo: Getty Images

Ones to Watch

World Cup One To Watch: Uruguay’s 24-year-old playmaker Giorgian De Arrascaeta

The Uruguay international will be a player to keep an eye out for in Russia.

Cruzeiro attacker Giorgian De Arrascaeta is the spearhead of a new-look Uruguay National Team looking to make an impact at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

His inclusion in Oscar Tabarez’s plans for Russia is yet another reason to get excited about the upcoming tournament, for he is an exciting talent who will have gone under-the-radar to most European onlookers.

An attacking midfielder with a penchant for a skillful dribble and an eye for a killer pass, De Arrascaeta will offer a new threat to opposing defences this summer.

To see who else features in The Boot Room’s World Cup Ones to Watch series, click here.

Who is he?

The attacking midfielder has spent his entire career in South America, joining Cruzeiro from Defensor Sporting in his homeland of Uruguay back in 2015.

During his time with Sporting, he helped the club to an unlikely Uruguayan Clausura title while impressing in the Copa Libertadores. Naturally, his performances attracted interest from richer leagues around South America.

Brazilian champions Cruzeiro signed the playmaker in January 2015 and, despite a difficult start, Arrascaeta established himself as one of the teams most important players due to his standout creative ability.

What is his international experience/record?

After scoring twice for Uruguay as they finished runners-up at the 2013 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, De Arrascaeta made his debut for his nation’s senior team in a friendly against South Korea back in September 2014.

He was selected for the 2015 Copa America and handed the number 10 shirt – previously worn by the now retired Diego Forlan. However, he only played 26 minutes of the tournament, in a 1-0 victory over Jamaica.

Despite a limited role three years ago, in recent months he has become a regular starter in Tabarez’s preferred side, now boasting a total of 14 international appearances.


Why will he be a breakout World Cup star?

Nicknamed “Arrascaneta”, due to his innate ability to nutmeg rival defenders, the 24-year-old is sure to become a spectator’s favourite in Russia.

As the 24-year-old told in a previous interview, he models his entire game on former Argentine superstar Juan Román Riquelme, one of the most talented South American players of a generation.

While comparisons with Riquelme are premature at this stage, Arrascaeta undoubtedly possesses the same ability to lift a crowd off their seats with his skill and finesse.

The exciting talent is already being linked with a move to Europe and his involvement this summer is only likely to increase interest from outside of Brazil.

What is his future after the World Cup?

Reports from UOL Esporte suggest that Premier League new boys Wolverhampton Wanderers are interested in signing the Uruguay international, who is believed to have a buy-out clause of around £23 million.

Meanwhile, it is understood that French Ligue 1 outfit Monaco are also interested.

“Since I was a boy, my dream is to play for a great team in Europe. But nowadays I’m very happy in Cruzeiro and I only think about the club,” Arrascaeta told UOL Esporte.

However, despite his assertions that he is focused on his role at Cruzeiro, the Uruguyuan is seemingly a positive World Cup showing away from being one of the most sought-after players on the world stage.

With potential suitors already lining up for his services, it is unlikely he will remain in South America past the summer.

To see who else features in The Boot Room’s World Cup Ones to Watch series, click here.

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