With the title race (sort of) going down to the final weekend, it was easy to forget that for many of Liverpool's first-teamers, the final months of the season served as a run-in to featuring for their respective national teams in Brazil in a month. Yesterday we got further clarification on the English contingent, with at least five set to take part and the possibility of one (or two, if we're counting potential transfers) more factoring in as well. Roy Hodgson's announcement was followed by Oscar Tabarez and Uruguay's, with both Luis Suarez and Sebastian Coates included.
The former is no surprise, as he's likely to be the talk of the tournament after a record-setting season with Liverpool. If Uruguay's form levels off--which is no guarantee considering how abysmal they've been for most of the past two years--Suarez has the chance to be one of the tournament's stars, and any success they're going to have will surely include the talented striker.
Coates is a surprise, however, not only because he spent nearly three-quarters of this season rehabbing a knee injury suffered on international duty last August. He's been on loan at Nacional in Uruguay since January, where he's made five appearances (according to Transfermarkt.com) in defense as he works his way back to full fitness. His Liverpool career has been a turbulent one; signed under Kenny Dalglish on the heels of a performance that earned him Best Young Player honors at the Copa America in 2011, he never quite found his footing on Merseyside, featuring occasionally under both Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers been never to the point that suggested his place in the squad was secure.
Which, when combined with the longer-term nature of his injury, made his call-up something of a surprise. Hopefully his time at Nacional will have given way to a return to the type of form that we saw three years ago, and that whether or not he makes a Liverpool return, his career for both club and country is a successful one.