Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Last hooray for the Pizza Express – Peru squad

When you think of international stars for Peru, you will look towards Bayern Munich and Corinthians pretty fast. Claudio Pizarro might be 36 years of age, but he is the man that the young players look up to. Record goalscorer for foreigners in the German Bundesliga is a remarkable achievement for the player who found his second home in Europe. Paolo Guerrero is currently one of the best strikers playing in South America, precisely for Brazil’s Corinthians. If those two can lead this team accordingly, why not dream of the quarter final despite a strong group (Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela)?


Claudio Pizarro celebrating a goal for Peru. The captain will hope to do lots more of that in the month of June.

Pedro Gallese will see a lot of action against Neymar, James Rodriguez and Co. He is the goalkeeper for this Peruvian team, but he is not particularly experienced with only 6 internationals for his country as of today. Diego Penny is the alternative for the man from Juan Aurich, does not have too much more experience either though.

The defense was kept pretty young by Argentinian coach Ricardo Gareca. Right back Luis Advíncula plays for Vitória Setúbal, leads the European group that also includes Yoshimar Yotún, Carlos Zambrano  and Alexander Callens. Expect the centre back pairing to be Zambrano and Christian Ramos with Yotún on the left flank.

Juan Manuel Vargas is another face of this team, who in addition has a lot of European experience under his belt after playing for the likes of Fiorentina and Genoa. He will play as a winger for this team, having great crossing and set piece abilities, which should always come in handy at a tournament like the Copa América. You most likely will not be familiar with most of the other midfielders in the Peruvian squad, as most of them play in the small countries league. 20-year old Cristian Benavente meanwhile is a part of Real Madrid’s Castilla team, he might get some playing time at the Copa.

Up front, Peru is powered by previous and current Bundesliga stars as previously mentioned. Paulo Guerrero, Claudio Pizarro and right winger Jefferson Farfan stand out, but the latter two had to deal with long injuries this season and it seems unlikely that they will be at the top of their game by June. This situation might well lead to André Carrillo getting some games, which he might anyway as left winger.

Bottom line: It is highly unlikely that Peru goes far, but do not count them out of the quarter finals just yet. They have quality, but need everyone to perform at their highest level to have a chance.


Peru’s squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Diego Penny (Sporting Cristal), Pedro Gallese (Juan Aurich), Salomón Libman (Universidad César Vallejo).

Defenders: Luis Advíncula (Vitória Setúbal), Christian Ramos (Juan Aurich), Yoshimar Yotún (Malmö), Carlos Zambrano (Eintracht Frankfurt), Alexander Callens (Real Sociedad B), Jair Céspedes (Juan Aurich), Hansell Riojas, Pedro Paulo Requena (both Universidad César Vallejo), Gustavo Dulanto (Universitario).

Midfielders: Juan Manuel Vargas (Fiorentina), Rinaldo Cruzado (Universidad César Vallejo), Josepmir Ballón, Carlos Lobatón (both Sporting Cristal), Paolo Hurtado (Paços de Ferreira), Edwin Retamoso (Real Garcilaso), Cristian Benavente (Real Madrid Castilla), Christian Cueva (Alianza Lima), Carlos Ascues (Melgar), Paulo Albarracín (Alianza Lima), Joel Sánchez (Universidad San Martín).

Strikers: Claudio Pizarro (Bayern Munich), Jefferson Farfán (Schalke 04), Paulo Guerrero (Corinthians), André Carrillo (Sporting Lisbon), Daniel Chávez (Universidad César Vallejo), Irven Ávila (Sporting Cristal), Yordy Reina (RB Leipzig).


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