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Peru's World Cup squad in profile - including form guide and star player

Peru have qualified for the World Cup

By reaching the World Cup, Peru have already upset the odds.

Chile, with star players such as Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal and Claudio Bravo, will have expected to take South Africa's fifth spot, joining Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay.

Paraguay and Ecuador might have thought they were next in line.

But Peru shocked the lot of them, securing their spot in Russia - their first World Cup for 36 years - with a playoff victory over New Zealand.

Ricardo Gareca's team, who conceded just seven goals in eight matches in 2017, play attractive, possession-based football, with short, sharp passing the order of the day.

Jefferson Farfan, previously of PSV and Schalke, now of Lokomotiv Moscow, is a familiar face up front alongside Paolo Guerrero, set to return after a doping ban.

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Watford winger Andre Carillo is likely to feature, while Newcastle legend Nolberto Solano, now a technical assistant to Gareca, will be in the dugout.

The team, largely made up of players from the Mexican league, are something of an unknown quantity and will be looking to shock again.

Form guide

Ricardo Gareca's Peru team have already surprised a few (Image: Kai Schwoerer)

Peru snatched South America's fifth and final World Cup place, beating New Zealand 2-0 in a playoff over two legs.

The road to Russia featured wins over Paraguay (1-0 and 1-4), Bolivia (0-3 and 2-1), Ecuador (2-1 and 1-2), Uruguay (2-1), while there were losses to Brazil (3-0 and 0-2), Colombia (2-0), Chile (3-4 and 2-1), Uruguay (1-0). They drew twice with Argentina (2-2 and 1-1) and also tied with Colombia (1-1), Venezuela (2-2 and 2-2).

Star player

Paolo Guerrero

Peru's Paolo Guerrero has had his drugs ban halved (Image: AFP)

Peru thought they'd have to do without star striker Paolo Guerrero at the World Cup when in December he was banned from international football for a year after failing a drugs test.

The 33-year-old Flamengo tested positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs, including cocaine and metabolite benzoylecgonine.

However, his ban has since been reduced, meaning he'll be available for selection from May 3.

It's good news for Gareca, as Guerrero, his captain, scored six crucial goals in qualifying.

Rising star

Christian Cueva

Christian Cueva is capable of creating something out of nothing with a bit of magic (Image: Kai Schwoerer)

At 26, it might be something of a stretch to describe Christian Cueva as a rising star - but he's certainly in the best form of his career.

A brilliant dribbler, the 5ft 6ins attacking midfielder is also deceptively strong and can play through the middle or on the wing.

Of all the Peru players, he's the one most likely to unlock opposition defences with a flash of brilliance or create something out of nothing.


Saturday June 16 - Peru vs Denmark, 5pm, Mordovia Arena, Saransk

Thursday June 21 - France vs Peru, 4pm, Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg

Tuesday June 26 - Australia vs Peru, 3pm, Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi

Betting odds

William Hill have Peru at 125/1 to win the tournament outright.

*odds correct at the time of publishing