Our World Cup series is in full swing and providing a great distraction from any winter blues. We’ve taken you on a journey from tropical Panama to volcanic Iceland. You’ve even been treated (if we do say so ourselves) to a flying visit to Senegal. Don’t even think about stopping us now because we’re continuing with the good stuff—experienced teams returning in 2018 after a bit of a World Cup drought.
Here at DailyFantasyUK we love a good comeback story, because anything can happen when it comes to the beautiful game! Today, we’re turning our attention to a team who will be making their first appearance since 1982. This country may have more World Cup experience than some of the other squads, but they’ve recently been struck by an unexpected disadvantage (more on that later). It’s a country rich in culture, offering miles of beautiful scenery and boasting incredibly diverse wildlife.
Enough waffling. Let’s get to know… Peru!
Location: Western South America. Shares borders with Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile.
Capital City: Lima
Official Language: Spanish
Famous for: Being home to the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu—one of the ‘New 7 Wonders of the World’.
Fun Fact: It is tradition to give family and friends yellow (a symbol of good luck) underwear on New Year’s Eve. For those of you wanting to follow custom correctly: wear your yellow undies inside out and, when midnight strikes, flip them around!
Road to the World Cup
After a mixed bag of results during the qualifying stages, Peru finished 5th in their group—earning themselves a place in the intercontinental play-offs against New Zealand. They beat the All Whites over two legs to ensure a trip to Russia in 2018.
All seems to be going well, right? Not exactly. The celebrations had barely subsided when the team was hit by drama. Their captain and star player Paolo Guerrero has just been slapped with a 12 month ban after testing positive for cocaine—meaning he will miss the World Cup. This is obviously a massive blow. Did we mention he’s their top goal-scorer, too?
On the upside, they still have 6 months to come up with a revised game plan. Hopefully the spirit of the country and support of the fans can carry them through! They certainly looked happy to be back in the running:
Players to Watch
Aside from Guerrero, Farfán is probably the star player for Peru. He’s most comfortable playing as a forward or winger and in his club career he represents Lokomotiv Moscow. He’s played for the national team for a good few years and served an integral role in the qualifiers—assisting and scoring goals. Farfán is also a go-to for penalties and free kicks. He’ll no doubt be essential to Peru’s World Cup progress.
Another player providing goals during the qualifiers, Cueva is a strong attacking midfielder. He keeps his football strictly South American, playing for São Paulo FC outside of his national duties. He’s a valuable asset to the team—using his ability to switch up the pace to create goal opportunities. A good one to watch.
If you’re looking for a solid DFS pick in defence, look no further than Rodriguez. A long time fixture for the national team, he’s their best central defender. He’s loyal to his country and spends his club career representing Peruvian team Universitario. His experience and age should enable him to rally the younger players and pick up the team’s spirits in the wake of the Guerrero scandal.
A bit of a wild card choice, Yotún mainly plays in midfield, but can provide some quality in defence as well. In his club career he travels to the US and represents Orlando City. He’s had some ups and downs in his national appearances so far. While showing impressive skill and enormous promise, he has also had to be disciplined a few times—including during vital games. Still worth taking the risk, if you ask us.
Manager: Ricardo Gareca
FIFA Ranking: 11
What They Have Going for Them
- The team are ranked 11 according to FIFA—which is pretty damn good! Sure, they’ve drawn a tough-ish group, but we reckon with the right attitude and discipline, they could make their mark on this tournament.
- In the years they were absent from the competition, Peru were dealing with some internal dramas. Certain top players were permanently benched by the previous manager for their behaviour off the pitch. The current manager seems to have moved past these disagreements and united his squad. While it’s unfortunate that the team is already dealing with a new setback (losing their captain), they have experienced players who we’re sure can step in and take the reins.
It will be very interesting to see how Peru approaches the competition without their main man. Plus, who will step in and be captain? There’s certainly lots of team news and exciting developments to unfold before June. Buena suerte!
To keep up to date with all the news and tips surrounding DFS, make sure to check in with DailyFantasyUK!