Ireland to welcome Uruguay to Aviva Stadium next March

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
(Photo: Clare Courier)


Ireland will host a friendly against Uruguay in March of next year, the FAI announced on Thursday.

The match, which is scheduled for 29 March 2011, will take place three days after Ireland’s fifth Euro 2012 Group B qualifier against Macedonia. It will be the sixth match to be contested at the national side’s new Aviva Stadium – the ground which replaced the historic but archaic Lansdowne Road.

Uruguay were one of the stand-out sides at this year’s World Cup in South Africa. The South American team finished fourth following a disappointing loss to Germany in the third-place play-off. Nevertheless the squad, composed of talents such as Atletico Madrid’s Diego Forlan, Ajax’s Luis Suárez and Fenerbahce’s Diego Lugano, exceeded expectations with their run to the semi-final.

Forlan received the prestigious FIFA Golden Boot for his exploits, scoring four goals in the competition. Uruguay will be the second South American team to visit the Aviva Stadium following the inaugural friendly against Argentina in early August.

“After playing Brazil and Argentina this year, we now welcome another strong South American side,” said Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni. “Having watched Uruguay in this summer’s World Cup, I was impressed by their performance, particularly against the Netherlands in the semi final when they were narrowly beaten.

“This game will act as further good preparation for the June qualifier, before our return leg against Macedonia.”

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