World Cup Preview – Peru
Best World Cup Performance: Quarter Finals – 1970
Current World Ranking – 11
Peru were involved in the very first World cup in 1930 but it took them another 40 years to reach another finals in Mexico, 1970. This was their best performance as they crashed out in the quarter finals to eventual winners Brazil. Russia, 2018 will be their first appearance at the finals since 1982.
Goalkeepers: Pedro Gallese (Veracruz), Carlos Caceda (Deportivo Municipal), Jose Carvallo (UTC).
Defenders: Aldo Corzo (Universitario), Luis Advincula (Lobos Buap), Christian Ramos (Veracruz), Miguel Araujo (Alianza Lima), Alberto Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Anderson Santamaria (Puebla), Miguel Trauco (Flamengo), Nilson Loyola (Melgar).
Midfielders: Renato Tapia (Feyenoord), Pedro Aquino (Leon), Yoshimar Yotun (Orlando City), Paolo Hurtado (Vitoria Guimaraes), Christian Cueva (Sao Paulo), Edison Flores (Aalborg), Andy Polo (Portland Timbers), Wilder Cartagena (Veracruz).
Forwards: Andre Carrillo (Benfica), Raul Ruidiaz (Morelia), Jefferson Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow), Paolo Guerrero (Flamengo).
- Vs Denmark 17:00, 16/06/18 Mordovia Arena, Saransk
- Vs France 16:00, 21/06/18 Ekaterinburg Arena, Ekaterinburg
- Vs Australia 15:00, 26/06/18 Fisht Stadium, Sochi
Manager – Ricardo Gareca
In comparison to most teams heading over to Russia in June, Peru’s manager isn’t exactly a household name. Ricardo Gareca has mainly dabbled in South American club football, having won the top flights in both Argentina and Peru. Whilst not everyone may know who Ricardo Gareca is, Peru currently sit 11th in the world rankings and are heading to their first World Cup for 36 years so he must be doing something right.
Peru finished a very commendablefift in the South American qualifying round, missing out on automatic qualification by a single point. Whilst this is an impressive feat, with the likes of Brazil and Argentina, it may not come as such a shock. Peru then dispatched New Zealand 2-0 in the play off, securing their place at Russia, 2018.
Captain – Paolo Guerrero
Paolo Guerrero has had by far the most controversial journey to Russia. After testing positive for Cocaine last year, the 34-year-old striker was banned from football for a year, meaning he would miss the World Cup.
He was only cleared to play at the end of May, and will be hoping to use his emotional journey as fuel this summer.
Guerrero started his career at Bayern Munich before cementing himself as a first team striker for Hamburger SV. After a lengthy time in Germany, Paolo moved over to Brazil in 2012 where he has resided ever since. Finshing as joint top-scorer for Peru in qualifying, he will be hoping to showcase his talent in Russia and perhaps Peru can become a dark-horse and even surprise some of the bigger teams at the competition.
Danger man – Jefferson Farfan
Jefferson Farfán is one of Peru’s more notable players, spending seven years at Schalke 04. As well as this, in his debut season for Lokomotiv Moscow, his goal contributions enabled them to win the Russian Premier league. Whilst youth may not be in Farfán’s favour, his invaluable experience may be what drives Peru to group progression. Contributing well during qualifying, he will be integral to Peru’s performance.
Young player – Renato Tapia
At just 22 years of age, Renato Tapia can contribute a positive youthful energy to Peru’s national side this summer. Playing primarily in the Dutch league, somewhat trouble by knee injuries, Tapia is a superb utility player, playing predominantly in midfield but can also be utilised as a defender when required. His performances have resulted in him being selected for Peru at youth level and he has now broken into the first team squad. Renato will be aiming for Russia, 2018 to cement himself as a first team player and ultimately show that his injuries haven’t slowed him down.
Premier League Players
André Carrillo is currently the only Peruvian player to play in the Premier League. He is, however, only on loan from Benfica having played for Watford for the 2017/18 season.
Whilst almost in the top 10 of the current world rankings, Peru have very little World Cup experience and also lack the footballing superstars that their counterparts have. On the other hand, they have something to prove and did still manage to reach the finals so can never truly be written off. If they do manage to escape the group, the round of 16 is likely to be their exit point.
Written by Sam Brazier.