Everything comes to an end and for Uruguay the 15-year term of Óscar Tabárez is over with a whimper after the 74-year-old coach qualified Uruguay to every World Cup he was in command of the national team (1990, 2010, 2014, 2018).  A four-game losing streak and some comments made in the media were the deciding factor to remove him from his position. Uruguay since 2019 has had a slow decline despite having one of the most talented rosters in South America.

Tabárez had provided professionalism and transparency to a soccer program that was filled with indiscipline and disorganization, he turned the Uruguayan national team into one of the top national team programs in the world. ‘El Proceso” was defined by having a clear path to the national team from the youth levels, as low as U-13’s.

In his 15 years in charge Uruguay won the 2011 Copa America and finished 4th in the 2010 World Cup, round of 16 in 2014 (with wins against Italy and England), and 6th place in 2018. Tabárez won over 100 games in his two stints as manager of Uruguay. Here are 3 main candidates and second-tier candidates to take over Uruguay.

Diego Aguirre

The current Inter of Porto Alegre manager was set to take over last month, but the AUF did a U-turn and kept Tabárez in charge of the national team. The complexity is that Aguirre is under contract and the AUF will also need to pay Tabárez his contract clauses as well.

Hernan Crespo

The Argentine manager was recently with Sao Paulo in Brazil, and while he has won 2 titles in his career Crespo’s best work came with Defensa y Justicia in 2020-2021. An international candidate is not out of the question for Uruguay. 

Fabián Coito

Fabián Coito had a disastrous spell as head coach of Honduras, but in Uruguay he was the leader of a lot of the youth movement that Tabárez stressed under his tenure. Coito knows the players and could be a much easier transition for a group of players who saw Tabárez as a father figure.

Second-tier candidates

The names of Diego Alonso, former Inter Miami manager and Santos Laguna manager Guillermo Almada have come up as well, although as long shots. Former Nacional coach Álvaro Gutiérrez has been also mentioned as a long shot candidate.