Monday, August 10, 2015

Club Nacional de Football – Uruguayan Record Champions Attack Again

As a new season approaches, I’m taking a look at Uruguay’s record champion, Nacional, including possible problems and changes in personnel.

Important subtractions: Captain and goalkeeper Gustavo Munúa, now the new coach of the team, ended his playing career and takes a direct step onto the other side of the game. Gastón Pereiro took the opportunity to join Dutch club PSV Eindhoven for 7 million €. A nice sum for Nacional, but quite a loss in terms of player potential. Midfielder Diego Arismendi followed former coach Gutiérrez to Saudi-Arabia and joined Al-Shabab Riad. Not too shabby of an option for the pocket either. Wingers Bueno and Tabó returned to their clubs after loans. Club legend Alváro Recoba left the club with the national title in his last match.

Important additions: Esteban Conde (from Rafaela) and Luis Mejía (Fénix) are the new goalkeepers replacing Munúa and Bava. The defense definitely looks stronger than last year. Carlos Valdés and Diego Polenta came in on a permanent deals after being on loan last season already. They are joined by Matías Malvino from Lugano. Former Uruguayan international Sebastián Eguren  returned to his home country, while El Loco Sebastián Abreu did just the same.


Which way are Club Nacional on? Striker Iván Alonso (24) hopes it’s only up.

Good and bad: Offensively, Nacional lost a lot of quality and did not replace it too well yet. Abreu is not someone that will carry the team for example internationally (Sudamericana) anymore. On the plus side, the defense that was struggling a lot in the past half year was strengthened and should do better again. And as long as defense wins championships, Nacional should be fine. After an exit to Brazil was rumored earlier this year, top striker Iván Alonso stayed with the club and was made the new captain by Munúa. He keeps playing a key role in their plans.

Preseason friendlies: Argentinian teams did not look too well against Nacional. That was probably mainly because they did not field their A teams due to their own league action. 1-0 vs Estudiantes, 4-0 vs Boca, 2-2 vs GyE after being down 0-2. It looks like Uruguay’s record champions are ready for the season.

Key dates: Oriente Petrolero from Bolivia have the honor to open the Montevideo club’s season.

August 11, 20:15 local (2:15 CET): Oriente Petrolero vs Nacional

August 15: Start of Uruguayan league, Villa Teresa vs Nacional

August 20, 21:00 local (2:00 CET): Nacional vs Oriente Petrolero

12th league matchweek: Clásico, Nacional vs Peñarol.

The full league schedule can be found here.


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