Fernando Muslera is a name that pops up every time there is a World Cup, and this year will be no different.
The 36-year-old Uruguayan international looks set to play in what could be his last World Cup after years of dedicated service.
The goalkeeper has played every minute of Uruguay’s last three World Cup campaigns, and while the likes of Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan stole most of the headlines, Muslera has been a huge player for the two-time world champions.
Things could have turned out very differently for Muslera as he was born in Argentina, so he could easily have lined up alongside the likes of Lionel Messi for the last decade.
He might even have been named after Pedro Pablo Pasculli – an Argentine who scored the winning goal against Uruguay in the 1986 World Cup last 16.
A doctor recommended the name, but his mother ignored the advice. He was named Fernando and moved to Uruguay eight months later.
It’s clear he has no regrets about that, and he confirmed his feelings in an interview with FIFA: “With all due respect, my passport says that I have Argentinian nationality, but I feel one hundred per cent Uruguayan.”
The rest is history, and he has gone on to make 133 appearances for La Celeste.
No other Uruguayan goalkeeper even comes close to that number of appearances and they will miss him when he hangs up the gloves.
But despite enjoying a long and storied international career, Muslera’s club career hasn’t been as good.
He currently plays for Galatasaray in Turkey and has done since the summer of 2011.
He was at Lazio when he first came to prominence at the 2010 World Cup as he helped Uruguay reach the semi-finals, only to be beaten by the Netherlands.
But despite being linked with a host of top European and Premier League sides, it was Galatasaray that made the move.
He has gone on to make nearly 450 appearances and has picked up a lot of silverware.
But it’s still a shame that we never saw him in a top league because Muslera has been one of the best goalkeepers in the last three World Cups.
In his 16 appearances at FIFA’s showpiece event, the former Lazio man has kept seven clean sheets and conceded 17 goals.
Uruguay have also never failed to make it past the group stages with him in goal.
Muslera became a national hero during the infamous 1-1 draw with Ghana at the 2010 World Cup.
Luis Suarez was sent off in the dying minutes as he punched a goal-bound effort off the line.
Asamoah Gyan stepped up and missed his penalty before Muslera stopped John Mensah and Dominic Adiyiah in the shoot-out.
Uruguay went through but were beaten in the semi-finals by the Netherlands in a 3-2 defeat.
But Muslera didn’t concede a single goal in the group stages and had announced himself on the world stage.
And in 2014, Muslera delivered for his country once again as Uruguay beat England and Italy to qualify for the last 16 after initially losing to Costa Rica.
In the game against England, the Uruguayan made six saves to allow Suarez to score twice down the other end.
Wayne Rooney did get one for Roy Hodgson’s men, but Muslera repelled the other England attacks and La Celeste won 2-1.
This all-but knocked the Three Lions out after their defeat to Italy in the opening game.
Then at the 2018 World Cup, Muslera kept three clean sheets in the group stages as Uruguay made it to the quarter-finals, where France were too strong.
But before that, he produced good saves in the close games against Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Muslera has been one of the best goalkeepers over the past three World Cups, so don’t be surprised if he drops another masterclass in what could be his final World Cup for Uruguay.