There were many football favourites selected for South America’s fifth place in the World Cup, including Chile and Paraguay. However, the spot actually went to Peru, a team that racked up 7 goals in the space of 8 matches last year.
Many of that team’s core players are now playing in Mexican clubs. Some of these players include former Peruvian goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, midfielder Pedro Aquino, defender Luis Advincula, and Raul Ruidiaz and Andy Polo, two of the team’s former strikers.
Gareca is the 59-year old coach of Peru’s national team who hails from Argentina. Back in 1985, the former Argentine player scored a goal that eliminated Peru from the South American qualifier matches. From 2015 to date, Gareca has whipped the Peruvian team into its best shape yet, leading an organised and tactical club to their very first WC participation since the 1980s.
Peru appeared in the first WC event in 1930, and in every consecutive tournament since 1958. The team has claimed entry into the group stages 5 times in total, in 1930, 1970, 1978, 1982, and this year in 2018. The team was invited to the inaugural WC in Uruguay back in 1930, losing both of their matches and finishing 10th out of 13 participants. Peru participated in 1958, 1962 and 1966, but sadly did not qualify.
The team’s best result was achieved in Mexico in 1970, when they finished in 7th place. The country again made it to the top 8 in Argentina in 1978, but was eliminated after losing all of their second round matches. This year, Peru reached the 2018 WC group stages by beating New Zealand in a heated play-off.
Peru can be spotted at the WC 2018 in Russia by their red and white jerseys designed by Umbro. The jersey itself is red, with a white diagonal sash, the federation badge, and a gold trim across the front.