It’s been a long time since Uruguay won the first-ever World Cup in 1930 (and then won again in 1950), but, as the sole Latin American team in the final four of the World Cup, the small country has climbed back to its “place among the world’s soccer royalty,” a position it held for much of the first half of the 20th century, Eduardo Kaplan writes in The Wall Street Journal. For much of that earlier era, Uruguay was home to liberal laws and a robust economy that rivaled the European governments its leaders emulated. It welcomed immigrants, who enriched its political discourse—and its soccer culture. And unlike its neighbors, Uruguay didn’t segregate its soccer leagues. But as demand for its commodities declined after World War II, so did its economy. And its soccer. The last time the country was in the semifinals was 1970. Uruguayans have taken to the streets following each of their team’s victories, grateful to be back on the world stage.