Marcelo Zalayeta was just 19 years and ten days old when he hit the winning goal for Uruguay against Czech Republic in the group stages of the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup.* La Celeste* ended up at the top of Group B with maximum points from their three games.
Unfortunately, the country’s success at the tournament ended there. In the semi-final against Australia, a young Uruguay team, which, Zalayeta aside, featured five players from the squad that came second at the 1997 FIFA U-20 World Cup, went down to a Harry Kewell strike in extra time. Then, in the third-place play-off, Czech Republic got their revenge for the defeat earlier in the tournament with a 1-0 victory.
Shortly after the tournament, Zalayeta signed a contract with Italian giants Juventus, thus beginning his European club career. Uruguay had to wait until 2013 to appear at the Confederations Cup a second time, where they finished in fourth place once again.