By Stephen Byrne
The Fifa World Cup begins in Brazil kicks off today and we have been looking at Rovers’ connections with all participating countries.
Whilst few Uruguyans have pursued a career in professional football in England, one man has been able to coach and manage sides against Rovers.
Following an illustrious career, in France and Spain and with two London sides in Chelsea and Spurs, Gus Poyet, born in Montevideo, the Uruguyan capital in November 1967, was on the coaching staff of Leeds United when they played Rovers in League One in recent seasons, and was manager of the Brighton side that drew 1-1 at The Mem in April 2010.
Poyet won 26 caps for Uruguay, scoring three goals, and helped secure the Copa America in 1995. His only club football in South America was with River Plate of Montevideo in 1989-90, between spells with Grenoble and Real Zaragoza.
When Rovers and Brighton drew in April, Poyet brought on, as a last-minute substitute, Diego Arismendi. Born in Montevideo in January 1988, Arismendi played 55 times for Nacional, scoring twice and won two full caps for Uruguay, before joining his countryman at The Withdean.
Arismendi’s one minute on the field makes him one of two Uruguyans to have played against Rovers in representative football.
The other Uruguayan to oppose Rovers was Mateo Corbo, born in Montevideo in April 1976. Formerly with clubs in Australia, Spain and Paraguay, left-back Corbo was in the Oxford United side which faced Rovers in January 2005.
Andres Gurrieri was an unused substitute when Rovers faced Plymouth Argyle in September 2013. A Swiss-born player with dual Argentinian and Italian nationality, he had played for the Uruguayan side Sud América in 2010-11, appearing twenty times without scoring.