Óscar Tabárez

Óscar Tabárez

Tabárez with Uruguay in 2014
Personal information
Full name Óscar Washington Tabárez Silva[1]
Date of birth (1947-03-03) 3 March 1947
Place of birth Montevideo, Uruguay
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Uruguay (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1967–1971 Sud América
1972–1973 Sportivo Italiano
1975 Montevideo Wanderers
1976 Fénix
1976–1977 Puebla
1977–1979 Bella Vista
Teams managed
1980–1983 Bella Vista
1983 Uruguay U20
1984 Danubio
1985–1986 Montevideo Wanderers
1987 Peñarol
1987 Uruguay U20
1988 Deportivo Cali
1988–1990 Uruguay
1991–1993 Boca Juniors
1994–1995 Cagliari
1996 Milan
1997–1998 Oviedo
1998–1999 Cagliari
2001 Vélez Sársfield
2002 Boca Juniors
2006– Uruguay

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Tabárez and the second or maternal family name is Sclavo.

Óscar Washington Tabárez Silva (American Spanish: [ˈoskar taˈβaɾes]; born 3 March 1947), known as El Maestro (The Teacher), is a Uruguayan football manager and former football player, who played as a defender. He is currently the manager of the Uruguay national team.

After an unassuming career as a player and after working as a primary school teacher, Tabárez embarked on an extensive coaching career which has lasted more than 30 years and included coaching teams in Colombia, Argentina, Italy and Spain. He managed the Uruguay national football team from 1988 to 1990, returning to the job for a second time in 2006. He led the team to fourth place in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and to victory in the 2011 Copa América. With Tabárez, Uruguay qualified for three World Cups, reaching the round of 16 two times, and the semi-finals once.

On 25 March 2016, Tabárez surpassed Francisco Maturana for the head coach with most World Cup qualifying games in South America with 47, with the singularity that he has only managed Uruguay. Tabárez also is the fifth-ranked manager with most games at the Copa América with 26, participating in five tournaments (1989, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2016).

Playing career

During his 12-year senior playing career, Tabárez played mainly for modest clubs, representing Sud América, Sportivo Italiano (Argentina), Montevideo Wanderers(he was in the period where they were the first non traditional team from Uruguay to achieve the participation in Copa Libertadores), Fénix, Puebla in Mexico and Bella Vista. He retired at age 32.

Managerial career (Uruguay)

In 1980, one year after retiring as a player, Tabárez took up coaching at Bella Vista. There he met José Herrera, his Physical trainer for the next 40 years. The following year, he was named the Uruguay under-20s manager. He would coach the side on two separate occasions. He managed the team at the Pan American Games, in 1983 in Caracas Venezuela, where the Uruguayan team won the gold medal beating Guatemala in the Final. He subsequently worked in various clubs in his country, like Danubio, Montevideo Wanderers and Peñarol. This period is important because he first met the future integrants of Uruguay's Managerial Team: Mario Rebollo and Celso Otero. In 1987, however, he led national giants Peñarol to their fifth Copa Libertadores title, defeating América de Cali.

National Team first stint

1989 Copa América

This success was fundamental in his appointment as manager of the Uruguayan national team, in which the Copa América Played in Brazil was his first International Competition, reaching second place, eliminating Maradona´s Argentina in the process, and losing to the host, Brazil in the Maracana.

1990 FIFA World Cup

After 4 games of qualification, Uruguay qualified for the World Cup in Italy. Uruguay reached the Round of 16 of the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, after a draw, one lost and one win, against Spain, Belgium and South Korea respectively, and been eliminated in the next round by losing against the hosts. After 34 games, the first stint ended.

Managerial Work around Europe and South America

He later coached Argentine League giants Boca Juniors for two years. In 1994, Tabárez moved to Italy to manage Serie A side Cagliari. After leading them to ninth place in the 1994–95 season and tenth place in the 1995–96 season, Tabárez was hired by Milan, but his spell would only last a few months: after an Italian Supercup defeat against Fiorentina at home at the San Siro, a 2–3 loss at Piacenza for the league cost him his position. He was replaced by Arrigo Sacchi, and the Rossoneri eventually finished 11th.[2]

Tabárez then worked with Real Oviedo in Spain, with the Asturias club eventually only maintaining top division status in the promotion/relegation play-offs against Las Palmas, winning 4–3 on aggregate. He then returned to Cagliari, being sacked after one draw and three losses.

After two years in Argentina, with Vélez Sarsfield and Boca Juniors, Tabárez spent four years away from football management.

National Team Second Stint

Returning to the national team and beginning with " EL PROCESO" 2006

In 2006, after Uruguay had failed to qualify for three out of the preceding four FIFA World Cups, he took charge (on March 7) of the national team, presenting the "Proceso de Institucionalización de Selecciones y la Formación de sus Fútbolistas", which stablished a proper way of work with the national teams (under-15, -18 and -20 and the senior team), reintroducing the 4–3–3 formation and setting time for players in which they can study. With the help of the Complejo Celeste, the work were facilitated upon the objectives of the Proceso. On 29 March 2016, ten of the eleven-most capped players for Uruguay have been part of the Proceso.[3] As of May 2016, the first ten most capped players of Uruguay are or were part of the Proceso.

2007 Copa América

His first tournament saw the side take fourth place in the 2007 Copa América, in Venezuela. At Group Stage, Uruguay lost to Peru (0–3) and draw with Venezuela (0–0) and win over Bolivia (1–0), in the Quarter-finals they met Venezuela again, but this time they saw a win (4–1). After being eliminated in the Semi-finals on penalties (4–5) against Brazil (2–2), they lost the Bronze Final against Mexico (1–3).

2010 FIFA World Cup

After a successful play-off against Costa Rica, Tabárez and the Charrúas qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, first winning Group A (Uruguay did not win its group since 1954 FIFA World Cup in Switzerland, 56 years prior). They drew with France (0–0), beat South Africa (3–0) and Mexico (1–0). In the Round of 16 they beat South Korea (2–1). In the Quarter-finals Uruguay faced Ghana and after a draw (1–1), they went to extra time. In the last minute of extra time, a penalty kick was failed by Asamoah Gyan, after a hand save by Luis Suárez.

In South Africa, the national team reached the Semi-finals for the first time in 40 years where the team lost 2–3 to the Netherlands, only conceding five goals in six matches until that point. Uruguay ended the competition in Fourth Place, after a 2–3 defeat against Germany.[4]

2011 Copa América

In the 2011 Copa América, Tabárez led Uruguay to its 15th victory in the tournament, with the national side winning three games and drawing three in Argentina, and only conceding three goals. With these wins, Uruguay became the country with the most wins in the history of the Copa America. In 2011 and 2012, under Tabárez's leadership, Uruguay remained undefeated in 18 consecutive games (from June 2011 to August 2012), a national team record previously set by Juan Carlos Corazzo. With the Win in Copa América, Uruguay Qualified for 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.

2012 Olympic Games

After 84 years of absence, Uruguay returned to the Olympic Games in London. After a victory against the United Arab Emirates U-23 (2–1), the team lost the next two games against Senegal U-23 (2–0) and Great Britain (1–0), marking the end of the Olympic adventure. Egidio Arévalo Ríos, Edinson Cavani and Luis Suárez was the overage players for the tournament.

2013 Confederations Cup

Uruguay passed the first stage after a defeat (2-1 against Spain), and two victories (2-1 against Nigeria and 8-0 against Tahiti). In the Semifinals they lost 2-1 against the hosts (Brazil), and ended in the 4th placed after a draw (2-2) against Italy, by penalties.

2014 FIFA World Cup

Tabárez led Uruguay in its qualification to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, defeating Jordan in two play-off games, and thus becoming the first Uruguayan manager to do so in two consecutive World Cups. In Brazil, after an opening defeat to Costa Rica (3–1), followed by two wins (2–1 against England, 1–0 against Italy), to finish its group stage, Uruguay reached the round of 16th, the third time for Tabárez with Uruguay at the World Cup. This also marked the first time an Uruguayan team defeated a European opponent in 44 years, the last time being a win against the Soviet Union during the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. Without star striker Luis Suárez in the lineup, Uruguay lost to Colombia 0–2 in the round of 16.

2015 Copa América

On 19 June, the Asociación Uruguaya de Fútbol made a video tribute to celebrate Tabárez's 150 games at the helm of the Uruguayan national team. Uruguay played in a group against Jamaica (victory 1-0), Argentina (defeat 1-0), and Paraguay (draw 1-1). Uruguay qualified as the best third place, and met Chile in the next stage. In a game marked with the controversy between Jara and Cavani, Uruguay lost its chance of revalidate its title after losing (1-0). After the 2015 Copa América in Chile, Tabarez was suspended for three official games for the incidents of the Chile-Uruguay match, in which striker Edinson Cavani was also suspended for two games.

2016 Copa América Centenario

Uruguay played in the Copa America Centenario, as part of the Group C, which also include Mexico, Jamaica and Venezuela. After three games Uruguay lost the chance to advance to the next round of the event, losing to Mexico (3-1), and Venezuela (1-0), and beating Jamaica (3-0).

2018 FIFA World Cup qualification

Despite the suspension after the Copa América, and with the help of Celso Otero assisting in the bench, Uruguay won its first two games in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification, the first time since the 1966 FIFA World Cup qualification, and winning for the first time in La Paz against Bolivia. After the game against Chile, a 3–0 victory, Tabárez equaled Francisco Maturana as the South American coach with most games in the CONMEBOL qualifiers, with the distinction that Tabárez has only represented one nation, Uruguay. The qualification continue in March 2016, with a draw at Brazil (2-2) and a home win against Peru (1-0). In September 2016, after a defeat with Argentina (0-1), Tabarez became the national team manager with most games with one country, surpassing the record hold by Sepp Herberger (167 games), stablished in 1964. The next game saw Uruguay beat Paraguay 4-0. In October 2016 Uruguay play two games: a victory over Venezuela (the first in Uruguay after 16 years), and a draw with Colombia in Barranquilla (the first time Uruguay get a point in that city), and also, Luis Suarez reach Argentinian Hernan Crespo, at the top of goal scorers in World Cup Qualifications for Conmebol.

National Team Manager with most Games, World Record

Tábarez is presently the first on the list of football managers with most games, that have managed one national team, as of September 2016, he has surpass the record hold by Sepp Herberger (167) and Morten Olsen (166) as the national team manager with the most games as national football manager with just one national team, leading a selected group with 100 games or more. This list also includes such names as Hugo Meisl, Alf Ramsey, Mario Zagallo, Helmut Schön, Carlos Alberto Parreira, Joachim Löw, Lars Lagerbäck, Bruce Arena, Berti Vogts, Guillermo Stábile, Walter Winterbottom and Vicente del Bosque.

Uruguay record

First spell

  Win   Draw   Loss

Second spell

Uruguay Olympic Team 2012

Managerial record for the national teams

As of 15 November 2016
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L GF GA GD Win %
Uruguay Uruguay 1988 1990 34 17 8 9 50 28 +22 50.00
2006 Present 139 69 36 34 237 145 +92 49.64
Uruguay Olympic team 2012 (Olympics) 6 3 1 2 10 8 +2 50.00
Total 179 89 45 45 297 181 +116 49.72




Boca Juniors




Personal life

Aside from his career in football, Tabárez also worked as a teacher.[8]


  1. http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/preliminaries/play-off/matches/round=258532/match=300260871/report.html
  2. "Leo avvisato: da Sacchi a Terim, al Milan o stelle o stalle" [Leo warned: from Sacchi to Terim, at Milan you either star or crash] (in Italian). Sky Italia. 3 September 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  3. "Away curse stalks Uruguay". FIFA.com. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 7 April 2009.
  4. "Khedira completes comeback". ESPNsoccernet. 10 July 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
  5. "SUB 23: URUGUAY Y EGIPTO EMPATARON 0:0". Tenfieldigital.com (in Spanish). 25 April 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  6. "Uruguay encendió la llama con goles...". Tenfieldigital.com (in Spanish). 11 July 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  7. "Uruguay se despidió con sonrisas". Tenfieldigital.com (in Spanish). 15 July 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  8. El Maestro seeks to restore the tradition of a forgotten footballing identity; The Guardian
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