2010 FIFA World Cup Talent Scout: Uruguay's Alvaro Pereira

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2010 FIFA World Cup Talent Scout: Uruguay's Alvaro Pereira
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

In the second Group A match, between France and Uruguay, the usual household names provided the major impacts for their respective teams.

For the controversial France team, Arsenal's Abou Diaby was instrumental, along with the attacking threats of Yoann Gourcuff, Jeremy Toulalan, and Sidney Govou in the first half.

For Uruguay, Ajax wonderboy Luis Suarez put in a disappointing up-front showing, leaving the main threat to come from Diego Forlan, who looked rather dangerous when in possession of the ball and created some decent goalscoring opportunities.

However, Forlan's performance was perhaps emphasised somewhat due to his helpful wingback, Alvaro Pereira.

Their partnership could best be described as saying, "Pereira is to Forlan what Antonio Valencia is to Wayne Rooney at Manchester United."

Rooney scored 34 goals last season. That really says it all.

While Pereira plies his trade in Portugal with FC Porto, and so may not be considered a real unearthed gem as such, his efforts haven't been publicised to the point where he's a major household name in European football.

However, if he continues to perform the way he has done so far in this 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament, that could all change.

 

Strengths

Alvaro Pereira's immediate strength is his versatility, as displayed against France in Cape Town, where the 24-year-old switched between left-back and left-wing.

He is a very capable player at both wing positions.

In his defensive role, Pereira can hold his own against the strong attackers, staying balanced and holding his ground.

The Uruguayan has a strong tackle and is able to keep his composure in his own penalty area, making accurate and effective tackles to clear the danger without running the risk of conceding a dreaded penalty-kick.

In his more attacking role as a winger, Pereira has a good understanding with the forwards, Diego Forlan especially, and can play the intricate short passes to skip past defenders.

Pereira can create an opening, either for his attacker to shoot, or for himself to put in a cross.

As a wide man in general, Pereira hugs the touchline well, giving him enough time and space to receive the ball and create an attack.

His controls the ball exquisitely, unlike a lot of players, and has the dribbling skills to carry the ball forward along the touchline . Pereira can also skip past players if necessary.

And lastly, Pereira is very capable of putting a decent ball into the penalty area, something a winger must be able to do.

Pereira, from both open-play and set pieces, has great crossing ability, and often favors the in-swinger. He curls the ball into the forwards, often cutting across the goalkeeper and towards the back post.

He can also put in a superb long throw, with decent accuracy, to find his attacker lurking in the opponents' goal area.

He's almost like a Uruguayan Rory Delap, with perhaps slightly less brilliant throws.

 

Weaknesses

Pereira has few weaknesses, and he can potentially accomplish better things in a great league.

That said, Pereira doesn't hold his ground as well going forward as he does on defense.  Sometimes, he can be shoved off the ball fairly easily.

Perhaps the rigours of the lower teams in the Premier League might be a challenge for him.

The wingback also has an issue tracking back when going forward. When going forward, he doesn't usually sprint back to neutralize the counter-attack, with a midfielder covering his full-back role.

And finally, over-confidence appears to creep into Pereira's game too often. In the France game, he was frequently tackled and left his side susceptible to the counter-attack, with little numbers back in defense.

Overall, Alvaro Daniel Pereira Barragan isn't a player that can change a game on his own and is by no means a playmaker.

However, he can work well with the attackers and has the ability to provide an attacking threat against even the highest of opposition. Alvaro also has the defensive capability to maintain his team's score when it matters most.

A move to either the Premier League or La Liga could be the best option for Alvaro, with the Italian style of catenaccio perhaps limiting his talents somewhat if he went to a Serie A club.

 

Current value: £5 million

Potential value: £12 million

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