Sebastian Boselli – El Charrúa de River Plate by Sebastian Ferro

Sebastian Boselli – El Charrúa de River Plate by Sebastian Ferro

Image Rights: El Grafico

Date of Birth: 04/12/2003 (19 years old)

Nationality: Uruguayan

Club: CA River Plate

Position: Center Back, Right Back

Height: 184m (6 ft. 0 in)

Weight: 80 kg (176 lbs)

Strong Foot: Right

Youth: Defensor Sporting Club

Market Value: € 4.00m (Transfermarkt)

Similar Players: Sergio Ramos, Diego Carlos

Sebastian Boselli is a highly talented 19 year old central defender that has become recognized as one of several exciting prospects from what is a very intriguing generation of players for Uruguay. The small South American nation of just over 3 million people has always produced incredible footballers despite its size, including some of the more recognizable names of the 21st century including Diego Forlan, Luis Suarez, and Federico Valverde. An intelligent ball winning defender, Boselli is most effective as a central defender but has been featured as a right sided fullback and even as a right midfielder earlier in his career. When playing for the U20 Uruguay national team, which played in this year’s U20 World Cup and South American Youth Championship, he featured mostly as a center back but is more than capable as a right back at that level. With the national team, Sebastian Boselli and the rock solid defense for Uruguay played an important role in making it to the finals of the South American Youth Championship as well as winning the U20 World Cup. A brilliant defender that is pacey, technically capable and not afraid to put in a tackle, Sebastian Boselli has the potential to be mentioned as one of the many talented and memorable Uruguayan defenders of recent memory.

Player History

Sebastian Boselli was born on December 4th, 2003 in Montevideo, Uruguay and comes from a family full of professional athletes. His mother is an olympic swimmer and his father is an international padel player while both of his older siblings are professional football players as well. Sebastian Boselli began playing for Defensor Sporting at the academy level before making his senior debut for the club in the Uruguayan league cup on September 7, 2022 at the age of 17. From that point onwards Boselli has featured occasionally for Defensor Sporting, making 21 senior appearances across all competitions, including the Uruguayan league cup which Defensor won in 2022. Despite featuring mostly as a rotational player for Defensor Sporting, Boselli earned a move to one of the biggest clubs in South America; River Plate. The transfer was finalized at the end of August and since then he has yet to make his debut for the 4 time Copa Libertadores Champions, however fan expectations remain high for the young defender.

A big reason for his transfer to River Plate is because at the international level, Sebastian Boselli has been an absolute star for the U-20 Uruguayan national team. Since making his debut on Dec 8, 2022 in a friendly against Peru, he has since gone on to make 27 appearances for his country. In January of 2023, Boselli featured in the U20 South American Championship and was an integral member of the defense as Uruguay went on a run to the final before losing to Brazil. During that tournament, Boselli played nearly every minute for Uruguay and was part of a defense that only conceded 6 goals in 9 matches. Boselli was just as impressive if not more so during the U20 World Cup this summer. He played every minute of the tournament for Uruguay as they went on to win the entire tournament. A large reason for their victory was their stellar defensive record. Boselli and Uruguay kept 6 clean sheets in 7 matches, only conceding 2 goals during a group stage match versus England. In June 2023, Boselli was included in the first team selection for an international friendly against Cuba but has yet to make his full debut for Uruguay.

Playing Style

Sebastian Boselli is a very talented central defender with many strong attributes but what sticks out the most is his athleticism and physicality. Boselli is a brick wall in the center of defense and will consistently use his size and speed to win the ball back from the opposition during a match. This can be supported by looking at some of his statistics from the Under-20 World Cup. He led all players in duels won, aerial duels won, clearances, and interceptions throughout the tournament. While he does have the physical profile required to be a successful central defender, what sticks out when it comes to Boselli is his ability to read the game. He has great defensive positioning and anticipation despite his age and that allows him to win so many duels and interceptions throughout the 90 mins. He is fantastic at heading the ball and completely locks down defensive set pieces with his ability to read the cross and win the ball out of the air. Despite this he is not the most aggressive defender and does not concede many fouls in his own third even though he is eager to win the ball off of the opponent. Additionally, he is a very capable ball playing defender and has been vital for his team’s ability to build out of the back. Boselli has a varied passing range and is comfortable receiving and playing short passes as well as spraying long balls to a player further up the pitch. This includes being able to build up the passage of play while being pressed by the opposition player.  Overall for a central defender his technical ability is impressive and makes him a very complete defender coupled with his defensive timing and physical abilities. If there is any area to improve upon it would be to continue working on his defensive timing, marking, and positioning as he is now in a league with a higher reputation. Additionally he could be more aggressive as a defender despite his large physical frame. Lastly, while his pace and acceleration are not a detriment to his game, he has been burned on occasion and could work on his recovery speed after a mistimed tackle.

Game Footage

Despite a bit of trickery during the long free kick, Boselli manages to regain his defensive positions and win the header off of the intended target.

Boselli uses his astute defensive awareness to make a clearance on a dangerous cutback in the box.

In a typical build up sequence, Boselli is one of two center backs splitting wide close to the goalkeeper. After receiving the ball, he then pushes up from a wide position to contribute to the passage of play.

Game footage:

Game 1: Fenix v Defensor Sporting – Torneo Clausura (19-08-2023)

  • Featured as a right-sided CB in a 4-3-3.
  • Named a starter and featured for the full 90 minutes.
  • While committing a couple fouls, managed to not get carded. Defense conceded once.
  • Important to build up phase, would split the GK alongside the other CB and often received short pass from GK.
  • Impressive passing range, completed many short passes and had moderate success playing long balls across the pitch.
  • An aggressive center back, looked to immediately win the ball off of the opponent in his own third.
  • Very successful with his aerial duels, had successful interceptions and clearances as well, bossed his part of the pitch.
  • At time would get caught out of position, pushing to high up in trying to win the ball, would have to recover space left behind for opponent.

Game 2: Defensor Sporting v Liverpool FC – Torneo Intermedio Final (30-07-2023)

  • Featured as a right-sided CB in a 4-3-3.
  • Named a starter and played for the full 90 minutes.
  • Managed to not get carded. Defense conceded once despite a red card for the RB in the 80th minute.
  • Looked very comfortable with his defensive actions including interceptions and aerial duels, had some trouble adapting after the red card, yet did not concede.
  • While mostly good reading interceptions, did mistime a couple tackles that resulted into shots on target for the opposition.
  • Despite the defense looking shaky to end the game, Boselli was calm and composed. Held his own on most 1 v 1 situations.
  • Important to build up phase, would split the GK alongside the other CB and often received short passes from GK. 
  • Showed a strong passing range completing most short and long passes.
  • Displayed good pace and athleticism to make up lost ground and get into position for the full 90 mins.

Game 3: Penarol v Defensor Sporting – Torneo Intermedio (02-07-2023)

  • Featured as the right sided CB in a 4-3-3.
  • Named a starter and featured the full 90 minutes.
  • Managed to not get carded and completed a clean game. Defense conceded two goals.
  • Was very busy during the match, completed several clearances and interceptions, despite aggressive nature had a mixed day winning ground and aerial duels.
  • Spent the match shadowing and pressing opposition forward, had the better side of that match up until the match winner was conceded.
  • Displayed competent positioning and used his athleticism and pace to make up lost ground. Was occasionally pulled out of position including during the match winner.
  • Had a very strong game passing the ball and building up from the back. Was accurate with both his long and short passes.
  • Looked comfortable building out of the back despite being more aggressively pressed than by previous opponents.

What’s Next?

Sebastian Boselli is widely admired in South America and Europe for his exploits for both club and country this past year. Particularly, his performances with the Uruguayan youth national team meant that many clubs had Boselli on their radar before he eventually transferred to River Plate in Argentina for approx. 3.5 million Euros on August 29th. Despite being a notable transfer for the club as he was handed the number 2 shirt, Boselli has yet to feature for River Plate as a starter or substitute. The complete lack of club appearances is concerning especially since for many games, Boselli was not called up for the matchday squad at all. Now the reason why Boselli has not been able to successfully break through into River’s first team remains unclear however if he is to continue developing would be to get first team minutes as soon as possible, either with River or on loan elsewhere. Boselli is a very complete center back for his age and has the potential to develop into a defender capable of playing for the top 5 leagues in Europe and his national team, however he needs to be regularly playing in order for that to become a real possibility. When he transferred to River Plate I felt that this would be a fantastic club for him to grow given the jump in ability from the Uruguayan to the Argentine league as well as being able to potentially play in continental competitions such as the Copa Libertadores. However, he may not yet be ready given his lack of minutes and may need to find a club to go to on loan this January transfer window to further his development. Personally, I think that this would be the best option for him as it appears that whatever issue he has with River manager Martin Demichelis does not appear to be resolved any time soon. This may also impact his ability to feature at the international level as well. His performances at the U20 World Cup and South American Youth Championship earned him a call up to the first team under Marcelo Bielsa for a series of international friendlies. Since then he has yet to feature for the first team in World Cup qualifiers or at any level with the U-23s. Ideally, his situation will be resolved soon because a talented center back like Sebastian Boselli should be featured at the highest levels of the game, not warming the bench for his new club.

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