Your favorite Uruguayan fútbol series is back! It’s time to get to know another Uruguayan!
It’s been a while since I did one of these, and the international fútbol scene is at a bit of a standstill for now, but it’s never a bad time to get to know a Uruguayan, right? Today’s guest is someone who is kind of new on the scene to most casual fans, but he’s someone I think might have a huge impact on Brazil in 2014. Meet the man himself, Gastón Ramírez.
Gastón Ezequiel Ramírez Pereyra was born in Fray Bentos, Uruguay on December 2nd, 1990. Although I’ve heard my brother and father talk about him as an up and comer in the past, the soon to be 22 year old first really got my attention during the London Games over the summer. It was the first time I’d seen him really play a lot of minutes, and actually impact some games. While Uruguay didn’t do much of anything in the games, Gastón left his impression on me, and I think anyone else who watched the Uruguay games closely.
We all remember the last “It” guy Uruguay displayed on the international scene, and that was Golden Ball winner at the 2010 World Cup, Diego Forlán. Forlán had a tournament for the ages that year, but he most impressed me with his free kick ability, notching a couple of goals and just missing the game tying shot against Germany in the consolation game. When Ramírez scored on a free kick against the United Arab Emirates in the opening game of the London games this summer, I’m not going to lie, I got some flashbacks to Diego.
Ramírez, as I mentioned earlier, is just 22 years old, so I’m not going to go crazy with the comparisons, but I am definitely intrigued by his potentially deadly outside shot. It’s one he has no doubt been cultivating since he started his club career with Peñarol of the Uruguayan Primera División. He wasn’t there for long though, before he was sold to Bologna of the Italian Serie A for $2.5MM. He made 58 appearances for Bologna over a two year span, scoring 12 goals before it was time to move on again.
It seems some people in England also watched those London Olympic Games, because Ramírez went and got himself noticed. On August 31st, he signed a four year contract with Southampton of the British Premiere League, earning himself a cool $12MM in the process. He scored his first Premiere League goal just under a month after he signed, and he remains there today.
I really believe that Gastón will have a big impact on any team he plays on. He’s still young, so it might take him a couple of years to really establish himself in England, but I think by 2014 he should be starting for the Uruguayan national squad. Let’s face it, as great as Deigo Forlán was in 2010, he has really fallen off over the last couple of years. This is not really a knock on Forlán, it’s just the way nature works. Forlán hit his prime in that World Cup, and now he’s on the other side of it. If head coach “El Maestro” Óscar Tabárez wants to do some more damage in Brazil, he’s going to need someone to step up and have a big World Cup along superstar Luis Suárez, and I think that someone could be Gastón Ramírez.
Let’s wait and see what happens in Brazil.
Ramírez’s Goal in the London Olympics:
Featured image courtesy of: Getty Images
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