Should he proudly walk out to represent Uruguay against England in Sao Paulo this evening, you would never guess that Sebastian Coates' heritage carries all the way back to Scotland.

The 23-year-old is in contention for inclusion in the South American champions' line-up to face the Three Lions at the World Cup, as they seek an immediate response to their weekend setback.

Both Coates and his compatriot and Anfield colleague, Luis Suarez, watched frustrated from the sidelines as La Celeste were remarkably overturned 3-1 by Costa Rica on Saturday night.

To have any chance of progressing from a congested Group D, the 2010 semi-finalists must secure a positive result from their clash with Roy Hodgson's team - and both Uruguayan Reds could play.

Striding out on football's greatest stage would conclude a lengthy journey for the Coates name, after Sebastian's ancestors departed British shores for a new life in the small nation generations ago.

"In reality, my roots are Scottish," the Liverpool centre-back opened up in an interview with The Guardian ahead of the meeting with England.

"The family came here from Scotland three or four generations back. The first one to come to Uruguay, the first Coates, came by boat from Liverpool."

In light of that, should we change our pronunciation of the defender's surname? "Not now," he cautioned. "Everyone says Co-ah-tess. I imagine my grandparents may speak a bit, but no-one else in the family speaks English."

That Uruguay came close to World Cup glory four years ago and entered the latest edition among the favourites to triumph belies the nation's relative size and comparable resources.

Yet the country that provided the prodigious talent of Suarez and many before him have been crowned the world champions twice and the kings of South America no fewer than 15 times.

Asked for his personal theory on how his people have regularly exceeded expectations, Coates added: "We're very passionate about football but lots of countries are.

"At times, there is no explanation. Everyone plays from a young age and there may be something in the idea of the 'garra charrua', that desperate desire to win.

"Luis is the perfect example: you never give a game up for lost. In the hardest moments, that 'garra' appears - keep going, keep going, never give up."