Fernando Muslera and a landing 15 years later
JM González
April 29, 2024

Even the most beautiful stories come to an end. Immortal legends, those that one might think have pages to spare, sometimes end too. Fernando Muslera, goalkeeper, captain, champion and always available, announced that he is separating from his great love: the Uruguayan football national team. A 15-year journey, with more ups than downs, that ends after what was revealed by the Galatasaray goalkeeper, who at 37 years old was no longer available for La Celeste.

133 games have passed since October 10, 2009, when Muslera debuted against Ecuador in the South American Qualifiers heading to South Africa 2010. Since then he was in Uruguay’s goal for four World Cups (only in Qatar he does not add minutes), he played in five Copa América, won one and played in the Confederations Cup.

“Thank you for so much!” published the official account of the Uruguayan Football Association on its social networks. “Your name entered the rich history of Uruguayan Football”, they added along with a compilation of their best saves. And the truth is that yes, Muslera is in the history of a pioneering country in terms of feats. He is the goalkeeper with the most games played for La Celeste.

Perhaps his most epic feat was in South Africa 2010, in the controversial quarterfinals against Ghana. The spotlight ended up going to Sebastián Abreu, the ‘Loco’ and his panenka. The gentle peck of the Uruguayan striker ended the series, but before that Muslera had already saved two penalties in the definition.

That confrontation in the World Cup left several images for history. Of course Suárez’s handball in the 120th minute, but also that of the goalkeeper kissing and thanking the crossbar after Asamoah Gyan missed the penalty caused by the striker. After that, it was impossible for them to lose in the penalty shootout.

The successes of that generation, with ‘Nando’ as the undisputed headline, would reach their peak a year after South Africa. And in the house of its classic rival. Uruguay would emerge as champion of the 2011 Copa América in Argentina, with a resounding 3-0 win in the final against Paraguay in a packed Monumental Stadium and with an unstoppable Forlán.

Muslera only conceded three goals in the entire tournament. Furthermore, the penalty that saved Carlos Tévez in the series in which they eliminated Argentina in the quarterfinals remains in memory. Free path to the crown.


13 years have passed since that title and the truth is that the Galatasaray goalkeeper had already lost his starting position in the national team. Rochet is today the undisputed one. However, for Muslera it did not matter in the reasons for his decision. “I closed the stage in the national team”, said the goalkeeper on the 100% Deportes program on Radio Sport 890. “Without a doubt, having lost ownership is not a reason and I want to clarify it. They are personal decisions, they are stages, they were many years since 2009 and I consider that there are great goalkeepers”, he argued.

And although he was no longer a starter in his team, Muslera is fully active. He has just broken the all-time record for unbeaten goals in the Turkish Super League. The Uruguayan achieved 17 clean sheets in a season that is heading towards a new title for Galatasaray.

Not to mention the sporting retirement yet, but to close the chapter with the Celeste. “I feel proud of what I did for Uruguay, really unexpected, I was champion of America, I played World Cups, the semifinal of a World Cup,” said the goalkeeper. And he summarized: “If I cross the line, it is a joy and a pride that my name is statistically in the history of Uruguay and for my children to see that I was part of a process that achieved many things”. Fernando Muslera, a plane that lands 15 years later.

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