Wednesday, April 13, 2016

5 surefire reasons why Nacional will win title

Now we all know about how games have gone lately in Uruguay's Primera División. After struggling for some weeks due to the double deployment (thanks, Copa Libertadores), Nacional have gotten back on track lately and find themselves just one point off the pace. In that case, the pace is called Plaza Colonia. 

Nacional celebrating their Uruguayan title in 2015. (Photo:
Two competitions remain due to the club's successful international campaign, so why would anyone write them to be title favourites right now? This is why.

1. They have Esteban Conde

Following now-coach Gustavo Munúa, Conde did not exactly have an easy task to take over the goalkeeper position in the club. Nevertheless, the Uruguayan did so admireably well. He turned into an absolute cornerstone behind a - at times - shaky defense. While being 33 years old, he was born in a town called Young. I forfeit, Esteban wins. 

2. Successful wing play

From Jorge Fucile and Alfonso Espino up towards the offensive wingers Leandro Barcia and Kevin Ramírez, if healthy, Nacional have outstanding quality on both flanks. Especially Fucile could likely still play in Europe if he wanted to. He chose his home country and the fans appreciate that decision on every opportunity they receive. While Espino suffers from a little lack of precision slightly too often, he is one of the Primera División's better left-backs as well. 

When looking forward, there is simply a whole ton of speed and skill. Even the substitutes such as Tabó can absolutely rip apart an opponent's defense. 

Jorge Fucile enjoys a great season on his right side. (Photo:

3. Romero's heart

One man is pouring his heart into each game like no other for Nacional. His name is Santiago Romero. He quickly became one of my absolute favourite players in the league, because giving up is simply no option for him. It could be 0-3 and he would fight for every ball in midfield like it is the last opportunity of his career. On top of that, he is actually skilled technically and scored quite a few outstanding goals throughout his career.

4. Polenta's leadership

When we are talking of heart, we cannot leave out the captain. After Iván Alonso left the club for River Plate, Diego Polenta received the armband from Munúa and he has lived up to expectations. Sure, not every ball reaches a teammate, but he is merciless and incredibly tough to beat. After all, his convincing performances for his club earned him an invitation to Uruguay's national team during the past international break.

Captain on top: Diego Polenta, leader of his Nacional squad. (Photo:

5. Nico López

You saw #5 coming, did you not? Nico López has simply been their main man this season and does not seem to be willing to slow down. 7 goals in the league, 3 goals in the Copa Libertadores and inevitably there is interest from bigger leagues. In particular Brazilian clubs are rumoured to be impressed by the player. Who could blame them? 

One thing is for certain: Until the end of the season, López will be a Nacional player and, barring any injuries, will continue to fire home goal after goal. Until they won the title?


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