The times of Pizarro, Farfan and Guerrero are long gone – the current national team of Peru is in the midst of upheaval. Germany’s test opponent comes with a “Team of the Nameless”.
What does TSG Hoffenheim actually have to do with the Peru national team? Not much at first glance, but the biggest disappointment in Peruvian football actually has a lot to do with a former Hoffenheim player.
It was Luis Advincula who scored the decisive penalty in the decisive playoff game for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar for “the red and white“, the “White-Reds”, missed when there was still no winner in the knockout game against Australia even after extra time. Advincula, who moved from Peru to Sinsheim during the winter break of 2012/13 (he then played twice for the TSG), put the ball on the post – it was Peru’s beginning of the end in the penalty shoot-out that was due.Australia qualified for Qatar while Peru lost their sixth appearance at the World Cup.
Paolo Guerrero – record scorer with a lot of Bundesliga past
It can be stated: There were far more successful Peruvian Bundesliga professionals than Advincula. Claudio Pizarro for example. Or Jefferson Farfan. Above all: Paolo Guerrero. The former professional at Hamburger SV and Bayern Munich not only has 107 international matches under his belt – he is also by far Peru’s most successful goalscorer with 39 international goals.
Jefferson Farfan is in second place with 27 goals. The ex-Schalke player has also made a remarkable 102 international appearances. Claudio Pizarro has so far immortalized himself in fifth place in the goal statistics with 20 goals.
Record scorer – Paolo Guerrero
The three former Bundesliga professionals were part of Peru’s “Fantastic Four” ten years ago. The trio was supplemented at the time by Juan Vargas, who was playing for AC Fiorentina in Serie A at the time. Great hopes were placed in this enormously talented quartet, but they were disappointed in the end. The team at that time failed relatively clearly in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup finals.
World Cup 2018 – lots of fun, little success
Guerrero and Farfan, who “survived” the subsequent cut as a team, did better four years later when Peru qualified for the World Cup in Russia. The South Americans were then celebrated for their passion and enthusiasm at the tournament, but they were not very successful in sport: after two opening defeats in their preliminary round group against Denmark (0:1) and France (0:1) they were out. The final 2-0 win against Australia didn’t help either.
The team missed the sporting biggest coup a year later at the Copa America, when it only failed in the final against Brazil. As third in the preliminary round, they had just qualified for the knockout games, followed by victories in the quarter-finals against Uruguay (after a penalty shoot-out) and a clear 3-0 win in the semi-finals against Chile. Guerrero and Co. lost 3-1 in the final against Brazil.
Once with the “Fantastic Four”: Claudio Pizarro
Upheaval after missing World Cup qualification
After the team then missed the 2022 World Cup, a major upheaval was imminent. Long-serving players like Guerrero were sorted out, and coach Ricardo Gareca also had to go and was replaced by ex-national player Juan Reynoso. The new people come across as more of a “team of the nameless”, and hardly anyone plays at club level outside of South America.
In addition to Renato Tapia from Celta Vigo, the biggest supporters are likely to be defenders Miguel Araujo (FC Emmen) and Marcos Lopez (Feyenoord Rotterdam), who are employed in Holland. Attacker Gianluca Lapadula (33) has a Peruvian mother and an Italian father, he earns his money in Italy, where he plays for the second division team Cagliari.
“Don’t underestimate Germany”
Coach Reynoso – already known as a real hothead when he was a player – is currently preparing the team for the next South American World Cup qualifying round and has recorded three wins and just one defeat in previous friendlies. Before the game against Germany, the South Americans moved their training camp to Spain, where many exiled Peruvians live.
After the test against Germany (Tapia: “No one should be underestimated, especially Germany”) the Peruvians face Morocco three days later in Madrid. Apparently they have a lot more respect for the Africans. “A very difficult opponent. The Moroccan team has been growing together for many years to become bigger and bigger”said Tapia at a press conference in the training camp.