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Peru national football team

The Peru national football team is controlled by the Federación Peruana de Fútbol (FPF) and represents Peru in international football competitions. The team competes with nine other teams in the CONMEBOL conference within FIFA, and has qualified to four FIFA World Cups and two Olympic tournaments. With a total of nine tournament titles, the Peruvian teams are often said to play with much technique and elegance, making them one of the finest exponents of South American football.

Peru has had great moments in the history of football ever since its start in the 1930s. During this era they participated in the first FIFA World Cup, the controversial 1936 Summer Olympics, and won their first Copa América in 1939. Later, between 1970 and 1982, a Golden Generation of Peruvian footballers once more brought Peru into the view of the world. Throughout its history Peru has held the honor of having a series of excellent footballers, the most famous being Teofilo Cubillas whom, with his distinct attacking flair and skill, has often been regarded as the most famous exponent of Peru's golden football years in the 1970s. During this time, the team then qualified for three out of four FIFA World Cups and won the Copa América in 1975.

Historically, Peru's fiercest rival is the football team of Chile. Nonetheless, the competitive zone in which the team is located has often led to various other football rivalries, such as those with Ecuador and Mexico.

Currently, the Peruvian team is usually rated around the 50th spot in FIFA rankings. Recent efforts to reach the World Cup have been unsuccessful six times in a row. Even so, various Peruvian players have been successful, among them, Nolberto Solano, Juan Manuel Vargas, Jefferson Farfán, Claudio Pizarro, and Jose Paolo Guerrero. Recently, a series of disastrous results and internal problems have led the team to a downfall in the rankings.


Association Football was introduced in Peru by English sailors in the late 19th century during their frequent stops at the port of Callao, which at that point was considered one of the most important ports of the Pacific Ocean. During their free time, the English sailors resorted to playing football and, since more players were needed in order to play football, they invited the local Chalacos (people from Callao) to participate in their games. Allegedly, it was during these early games that the creation of the popular move known as the "Chalaca" (short for "Chalacan Strike"), or bicycle kick, took place. Soon, the sports rivalry that evolved between the foreigners and the Chalacos began to gain much attention from people elsewhere. As a result, the popularity of the sport eventually extended to Lima, and even though at first the sport was played without the formality of sports clubs, a few clubs were eventually created in order to continue its practice in the early 20th century. Among these early clubs of the amateur era were the English community's Lima Cricket & Football Club (Lima, 1859), later followed by the Peruvian Ciclista Lima Association (Lima, 1896), and Club Atletico Chalaco (Callao, 1899).

In the 1900s, due to the construction of the Panama Canal, the port of Callao was no longer flooded with the quantity of foreign sailors and travelers that had at one point made the port a point of much cultural diffusion. Nonetheless, by this moment more Peruvian cities had developed their own football clubs and leagues, the most important being those of Lima, Cusco, and Arequipa. Some of the most important new clubs founded at this time were Alianza Lima (Lima, 1901), Cienciano (Cusco, 1901), FBC Melgar (Arequipa, 1915), the Italian community's Circolo Sportivo Italiano (Lima, 1917), Atletico Grau (Piura, 1919), Alianza Atletico (Sullana, 1920), Universitario de Deportes (Lima, 1924), Sport Boys (Callao, 1927), and Coronel Bolognesi (Tacna, 1929). As such, the sport rapidly grew in Peru, but the most important amateur league (the Peruvian Football League) stayed in the capital province where a new football rivalry arose between the participating clubs of Lima and the clubs of Callao. Yet, the lack of a central organization often brought much conflict between the teams, and such a situation eventually escalated into a conflict that led to the creation of the Peruvian Football Federation in 1922 and a new Peruvian Football League tournament under the regulation of said organization in 1926.

Even though the Peruvian Football Federation had joined CONMEBOL in 1925, the re-structuring of the national league prevented the creation of a national football team that would be able to participate in the South American Championships of 1925 and the 1926. Moreover, even though in the club level Peru had a series of strong teams, the Peruvian national team created for the 1927 South American Championship was the first successful attempt at a national squad for Peru. This first squad was composed from the best players of the Peruvian Football League, but their first game played against Uruguay (recent winners of the Football Olympics) showed a largely disunited team still trying to mold into a united group effort. After losing their first game to Uruguay in a result of 4-0, the Peruvian squad achieved their first victory a few days later against Bolivia in a surprising 3-0 result.

The time that followed saw the appearance of a group of excellent Peruvian football players that would help further expand the popularity of the sport not only in Peru, but also in other countries of South America. During the 1920s and 1930s, Peruvian clubs made a series of international tours due to the high demand of the skill of their players across South America in places such as Colombia, Venezuela, and in Chile. The best moments of Peruvian football had thus began as the continued popularity of football in Peru led to the appearance of great players such as Alejandro Villanueva, Teodoro Fernandez, and Juan Valdivieso. In 1930, three years after the Peruvian squad had participated in its first international tournament, they were invited to participate in a new intercontinental competition to be held in Uruguay, the first FIFA World Cup.

The 1930 FIFA World Cup was an interesting experience for all the teams participating. For the Peruvian team, their first match against the Romania national football team was filled with problems as the Romanians and Peruvians played a rough match that eventually led to a broken leg for one of the Romanian players. This and several other incidents on the field, such as the first minute goal by Romania, soon led to the World Cup's first player dismissed, the Peruvian Plácido Galindo. After all the commotion was settled due to this decision by the referee, Peru was able to momentarily tie the game. Nevertheless, the lack of a player and the inexperience of the national side gave (after two consecutive goals) a pleasing 3-1 result to Romania. Afterwards, in the match against the hosts, Uruguay, that would innaugurate the Estadio Centenario, Peru played an allegedly formidable game against the Charruas. In fact, Peru lost only by one goal to Uruguay, thus showing a sign of improvement from the past 1927 result against Uruguay (whom would later go on to beat Romania 4-0 and eventually crown themselves champions of the tournament).

Later, during 1936 Berlin Olympics, the team further showed how much they had improved since 1927. Largely with the squad of the 1930s, but with a new group of young stars, Peru made a great start by defeating the Finland national football team with a margin of 7-3. Even more surprisingly, the Peruvians defied all odds and managed to defeat Austria on a 4-2 result during over-time. Still, the team formally withdrew due to problems with the German government's intervention causing the International Olympic Committee to nullify Peru's victory against Austria and ordering a re-match. Even though the team was already making history, their perseverance would soon lead them to the consolidation of their grandeour. In 1938, Peru's first international title would finally come during the first Bolivarian Games, which Peru won after winning all their games against the football teams of Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela. Then, further consolidating their status as Peru's first golden generation, the national squad won Peru's first South American Championship (later known as Copa America) in 1939. Once again, the national squad lost none of its matches and in their path to the finals defeated Ecuador, Chile, and Paraguay. For the final, Peru had to yet again face Uruguay, but this time the team was able to overcome the challenge and defeated Uruguay by a close margin of 2-1. Peruvian player Teodoro Fernández became the tournament's maximum goal scorer with 7 goals, and currently retains the historic second place of the competition. As a result of these many titles, victories, and important showings, the early years of Peru's football history went extraordinarily well, and the team was able to effectively build its game along with the increasing competition of the CONMEBOL region.

Nonetheless, due to a series of internal problems, Peru's football years after this first golden generation did not involve any other major accomplishments. The 1940s and 1950s flew by with only the achievements of a gold and bronze medal at the Bolivarian Games, and a couple of third places in the Copa America. During the 1960s Peru began to slowly show signs of improvement as the team won the Bolivarian Games of Barranquilla and qualified for the 1960 Summer Olympics held in Rome. Even though the team was only capable of beating the India national football team after losing to France and Hungary, the squad once again began to give its fans bright hopes for the future.

Once into the 1970s, the Peruvian "Blanquirrojas" rose with a spark of international victories and a string of young football stars that made the team once more a major competitive force in the world of football. Players like Teófilo Cubillas, Pedro Pablo Leon, Héctor Chumpitaz, Ramon Mifflin, Hugo Sotil, Roberto Challe, and César Cueto, helped make South American football a fierce competitor of European football at a time when teams throughout the world were becoming better at this sport. The participations of Peru in the 1970, 1978, and 1982 FIFA World Cups made the national team once again leave its mark in international competitions as the world saw with awe the elegant and technical play of a Peruvian squad that had a thirst for victory. The participation of Peru in the 1970 FIFA World Cup remains as one of the most memorable as the squad caused sensation as they advanced into the quarterfinals after first eliminating Argentina in the qualifiers, defeating Bulgaria 3-2 after trailing 0-2, losing 3-1 to Germany, and defeating Morocco 3-0. Moreover, their game against Brazil, which they lost 4-2, is usually considered as one of the best World Cup games to have ever been played. Not only that, but in 1975 Peru achieved its second Copa America title, and thus another set of players consolidated their mark in Peruvian sports history. Furthermore, the Peruvian squad once more took the title of football champions at the Bolivarian Games twice during these times. Along with an increase of better teams within the Peruvian league, Peru kept up its game up well into the late 1980s.

Heading towards the 21st century, the 1990s were not very good years for the Peruvian football team. The terrible 1987 Alianza Lima air disaster further crushed the hopes for the team as a series of good players ready to play for the national team died. Although there were still several good players like Julio Cesar Uribe, Nolberto Solano, Claudio Pizarro, and Jose del Solar, the team was no longer the "Golden Team" of the 70s. In terms of Copa America, the squad could only go as far as the quarterfinals before getting eliminated. Meanwhile, in the World Cup qualifiers, the team was not able to even get close to reaching another FIFA tournament until 1998, but that dream was also twarthed by a goal difference with Chile. The only important title the team won during these years was the Kirin Cup, were they shared first place with Belgium.

The early 21st century brought with it the same Peruvian team, a shadow of its former self. Nevertheless, the squad began getting new revivals once the team began getting new young players with new hopes and goals. As the years kept going, Peruvian football once more started to give signs of vitality as local teams from the league began doing rather well in international competitions. Yet, the results were still vastly the same for the Peruvian team in terms of both the Copa America and the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Quite surprisingly, Peru was able to do well when they were invited to participate in the CONCACAF Gold Cup and even won another Kirin Cup in 2005. Meanwhile, in 2007, the football fans of Peru received another great surprise as the national U-17 squad qualified and reached the quarterfinals (for their first time) of their FIFA World Cup. This success from the young squad has given new hopes to fans that things are turning for the better. With young star players like Jefferson Farfan and Jose Paolo Guerrero, the possibilities for Peru have expanded and now the team seeks to once more reach the best of the world in the 2010 FIFA World Cup to be held in South Africa.

Home stadium

For more information: Estadio Nacional (Lima)

The Estadio Nacional is a 45,574-spectator stadium located in Lima, Peru. On July 18, 1897, the field was inaugurated and named Estadio Guadalupe. The Liga Peruana de Futbol (known as the FPF today) used it for the first football tournaments held in Lima. In 1921, under the "embellecimiento" (beautifying) process for Lima under the presidency of Augusto B. Leguia, the stadium was renovated and renamed the Estadio Nacional. Later, under the government of Manuel Odria, the stadium was reconstructed and officially re-inaugurated on October 27, 1952. Currently, the stadium houses the Peruvian team and has hosted several major international competitions such as all four Copa América's football competitions held in the nation (the more recent being the Copa America 2004) and the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship.

During the preparations for the U-17 championship, artificial turf was installed as a means of making the stadium look in better shape. Nonetheless, the artificial turf remained in the Estadio Nacional. In the year of 2005, Peru held the privilege of holding four of the eight "Star II" (the highest certification granted to artificial pitches in the world) artificial turf stadiums in the world. Even though the national stadium was one of the four Peruvian stadiums that received the "Star II" certification, it has received heavy criticism from clubs of the Peruvian First Division because of the alleged injuries it causes to players. Due to this reason, the national team has decided to temporarily not make use of the stadium.

Alternate Stadiums

The national team, for a series of different reasons, has tended to use a variety of venues to play against its rivals. The geographic variety of Peru is immense, and thus the national team has the option to use different stadiums that might prove as a benefit for the national team. At times, using the high altitude of the Estadio Garcilaso de la Vega in Cusco or the Amazonic climate Estadio Max Agustin of Iquitos can prove to be a good strategy for the team that may lead to both favorable results and an increase in national pride in regions far from the capital. Also, using popular stadiums in Lima, like the Estadio Alejandro Villanueva, can sometimes be an option for the team due to the supportive crowd. Recently, though, the more modern Estadio Monumental "U" has been selected to momentarily house the Peruvian football team due to the National Stadium's artificial turf.

Estadio Monumental

For more information: Estadio Monumental "U"

The Estadio Monumental is a football stadium in Lima, Peru, which serves as home ground for the football club Universitario de Deportes. It was built throughout the 1990s, and oficially opened in they year 2000. Currently, it is Peru’s largest and most modern stadium. Also, it is the third largest stadium in South America, behind the Maracanã in Brazil and the Monumental Isidro Romero Carbo in Ecuador. The stadium was built in accordance with FIFA’s manual of technical specifications for stadiums, and has a spectator-capacity of 80,093.

Despite its size, it has never hosted any of the major sporting events that have come to Peru such as the 2004 Copa America and the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship. Nonetheless, it was chosen as the national team's venue for the 2010 World Cup Qualifiers by the manager Jose del Solar. Moreover, it has prominently hosted various concerts and other events not related to the football atmosphere. Even tough the situation seemed to point towards the stadium staying as the venue for the Peruvian team, problems with Gremco company (the builders of the stadium) and Universitario de Deportes led to the national team's return to the Estadio Nacional.

FIFA World Cup record

Year Round Year Round
1930 Round 1 1974 Did not Qualify
1934 Withdrew 1978 Round 2
1938 Did Not Enter 1982 Round 1
1950 Withdrew 1986 Did not Qualify
1954 Withdrew 1990 Did not Qualify
1958 Did not Qualify 1994 Did not Qualify
1962 Did not Qualify 1998 Did not Qualify
1966 Did not Qualify 2002 Did not Qualify
1970 Quarterfinals 2006 Did not Qualify
Total 4/18

Qualifiers and participations

After making their FIFA World Cup debut at Uruguay 1930, Peru next made an impact on the finals at Mexico 1970 where they beat Bulgaria and Morocco to start off the tournament with a surprising bang. The Brazil of Rivelino, Tostao, Jairzinho and Pelé put an end to that adventure 4-2 in the quarter-finals. The World cup of Argentina 1978 saw Peru end up first in their group during the first phase of the tournament, but they were later eliminated after losing all their games in the second phase. Their last World Cup appearance was in that of Spain 1982, a tournament in which Peru was viewed as a favorite. Yet, the problem came when the team basically trained too much and were tired even before the tournament had begun. They were eliminated last in their group, with 2 ties and 1 loss.

1930 FIFA World Cup

In Uruguay 1930, Peru was part of group C and lost both games they played, 1:0 against Uruguay and 3:1 against Romania. As an anecdote, the game Peru played against Uruguay inaugurated the historic Estadio Centenario of Montevideo. Among the important figures of notable mention composing the Peruvian team were the goalie Juan Valdivieso, the defense Mario de Las Casas, whom would later found the club Universitario de Deportes and the forward and idol of Alianza Lima, Alejandro Villanueva.

1970 FIFA World Cup

The tale to Mexico 1970 begins from the qualification game played against Argentina in their "mythical" stadium of "La Bombonera." Previously, Peru had beaten Argentina and Bolivia in Lima. At La Paz, Bolivia beat Peru. Thus, Peru only needed a tie to qualify for the World Cup. Peru played one of their best games that day, and were capable to tie the game 2:2 and qualified for the World Cup to be played at Mexico.

Those who stood out in this team were Roberto Challe, Alberto Gallardo, Orlando De la Torre, Teófilo Cubillas, Pedro "Perico" Leon, Ramon Mifflin, Nicolás Fuentes, and the idol that would be known as the "Captain of America," Héctor Chumpitaz. Afterwards, for the World Cup, the "Cholo" Hugo Sotil joined the team.

Peru entered the tournament in Group 4, and played against Bulgaria (3:2 victory), Morocco (3:0 victory), and Germany (3:1 loss). In the match against Bulgaria, the "Nene" Cubillas marked his first goal with a great pass from Ramon Mifflin. Right now, he is the 6th greatest goal scorer of the World Cups at 10 marks in 3 participations.

Once in the quarterfinals, Peru faced the Brazil of Pelé (Whom would go on to win the cup) and lost 4:2 in a game qualified as one of the best football games in history. Current president of the FIFA, Joseph Blatter, considers it the best. Peru's historic head coach was the Brazilian Valdir Pereira, whom greatly lamented playing against his own country but certainly put up a great fight.

As an anecdote to this World Cup, Peru had faced one of their worst earthquakes in history while the team was in Mexico. Several people died, and one whole city was wiped from the face of the earth. Due to this, the team was quite saddened and showed a deplorable first-half against Bulgaria (Losing 2 to nothing). The tale goes on to say that someone uttered: "With this game they're killing those who survived the earthquake back in Peru." True or false, Peru was capable to turn the game back around and beat Bulgaria.

1978 FIFA World Cup

The Argentina 1978 finals also saw Peru finish first in its opening group, as they managed to beat Scotland and Iran, then drew with the eventual finalist, the Netherlands.

Once into the second round in 1978 - a second group stage - they did not live up to their promise, falling rather dismally to Brazil, Poland, and Argentina without scoring a goal.

1982 FIFA World Cup

By Spain 1982 the team's performance declined as the team fell at the opening hurdle, drawing with Cameroon and Italy before getting crushed by Poland 5-1. Previously, though, Peru was viewed as a favorite and a good candidate to advance into the next phase.

The problem was that Peru had previously been doing several practice matches, all of which re-assured to the public that Peru would do well in the World Cup. Yet, Peru trained too much and by the time the World Cup begun, the team was completely exhausted.

1986 FIFA World Cup Qualifier

Peru almost qualified to Mexico 1986 once more eliminating Argentina. Yet, for this qualifier game, they were to face the Argentina of Maradona. At first, Peru was achieving a victory at Buenos Aires, but Diego Armando Maradona was able to tie the game and qualify Argentina into the World Cup they would later win.

Peru was thus forced to face Chile for elimination, and they lost 4-2 on Santiago and 1-0 on Lima. This was to be Peru's last closest chance of qualifying until 1998.

1990 FIFA World Cup Qualifier

Peru was grouped for the qualification along with Bolivia and Uruguay. Every single game was lost, and only two goals were scored (One by Jose del Solar and the other by Andres Gonzales). Julio Cesar Uribe was considered one of the best players of the team at that moment.

1998 FIFA World Cup Qualifier

The campaign to reach France 1998 was thwarted only by the goal difference tiebreaker, as they finished even on points with Chile. The qualifying system had changed and now all teams were to face each other, and Peru had been able to maintain the 4th spot until the next-to-last match when they faced Chile at Santiago. The game was quite humiliating, specially due to the aggressions the Peruvian team faced from the Chileans. As far as it currently goes, this is currently Peru's last closest chance to qualifying.

2002 FIFA World Cup Qualifier

The preliminaries for Korea/Japan 2002 were certainly not any respite from that, as the team finished eighth in the group with just four wins in eighteen matches. The fact that they only managed to score 14 goals demonstrated how far the attack had fallen since the days of Cubillas. Particularly low points of the qualifying tournament included a 3-0 loss at Venezuela and defeats in over half of their home matches to Uruguay, Ecuador, Argentina, Colombia and Brazil.

2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifier

During the years of 2004 and 2005, Peru participated in the qualifier for the Germany 2006 World Cup. Peru this time hit the ground hard as conflicts with the team's management soon showed poor results in the games that were to follow. Paulo Autuori managed the squad, but was not able to achieve popularity due to a disastrous campaign that led Peru into 8th place just above Bolivia and Venezuela. Freddy Ternero also momentarily managed the squad, but was dismissed due to problems with the FPF.

2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifier

The 2010 qualifiers, beginning in 2007, resulted in another set of problems for the Peruvian team. In their first four games, the team had only achieved 2 ties (both at home) and 2 losses. Not only that, but controversies between the FPF and the IPD (Peruvian Sports Institute) caused problems outside of the field for the national team. Furthermore, a scandal shook the team as it was discovered, with informational support of prominent figures such as Jaime Bayly, that several of the players had been partying during the time they were supposedly "concentrating" for a match against Brazil. The 2008 season opened with 2 losses and 2 draws for the Peruvian team in the qualifiers, leaving many fans discontent. Moreover, after a victory of 3-1 against Costa Rica during training matches, Peru lost its following two games against Spain and Mexico (with a last minute goal in favor of Spain, and a 4-0 result facing Mexico).

FIFA World Cup History
Year Round Score Result
1930 Round 1 1 – 3 Loss
Round 1 0 – 1 Loss
1970 Round 1 3 – 2 Win
Round 1 3 – 0 Win
Round 1 1 – 3 Loss
Quarterfinals 2 – 4 Loss
1978 Round 1 3 – 1 Win
Round 1 0 – 0 Draw
Round 1 4 – 1 Win
Round 2 0 – 3 Loss
Round 2 0 – 1 Loss
Round 2 0 – 6 Loss
1982 Round 1 0 – 0 Draw
Round 1 1 – 1 Draw
Round 1 1 – 5 Loss

World Cup matches (By team)
Total : 4 Wins - 3 Ties - 8 Loses - 15 games played
Against Wins Draws Losses Total Against Wins Draws Losses Total Against Wins Draws Losses Total
0 0 1 1 0 0 2 2 0 0 1 1
0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1
1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1
1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 - - - - -
0 0 1 1 0 0 2 2 - - - - -

Copa América record

Copa America/South American Championship
Total: 2 Titles
Year Position Year Position Year Position
1916 No Participation 1939 Winners 1967 Withdrew
1917 No Participation 1941 Fourth Place 1975 Winners
1919 No Participation 1942 Fifth place 1979 Semifinals
1920 No Participation 1945 Withdrew 1983 Semifinals
1921 No Participation 1946 Withdrew 1987 Round 1
1922 No Participation 1947 Fifth Place 1989 Round 1
1923 No Participation 1949 Third Place 1991 Round 1
1924 No Participation 1953 Fifth Place 1993 Quarterfinals
1925 No Participation 1955 Third Place 1995 Round 1
1926 No Participation 1956 Sixth Place 1997 Fourth Place
1927 Third Place 1957 Fourth Place 1999 Quarterfinals
1929 Fourth Place 1959 Fourth Place 2001 Quarterfinals
1935 Third Place 1959 Withdrew 2004 Quarterfinals
1937 Sixth place 1963 Fifth place 2007 Quarterfinals

Participation history

Ever since their first Copa América, Peru has had interestingly good showings. It is often remembered by fans that Peru was the 4th team (After Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil) that won the South American cup. Even though in 1939 Peru played against only 3 of the South American nations (With no participation from Argentina or Brazil), in 1975 Peru won the cup once more (This time with all the CONMEBOL teams participating).

Recently, Peru has only been able to get only as far as the quarterfinals of the tournament which holds its own prestige as being the oldest tournament of international football; along with having Argentina and Brazil (the 2 teams usually considered among the top 5 in the football world), which have also recently been dominating the tournament. Nevertheless, all the South American nations get to show-off their skills and characteristic play in the Copa América, and Peru is no exception. The team's colorful history in the Copa América tournaments for the least seems to hold that true.

Peru 1927

At this point Peru is the 7th nation to join the competition, and in 1927 the games are decided to be played there. Although only 3 teams came to the tournament, Argentina, Uruguay, and Bolivia; the participating federations decided that the 1st and 2nd places of the competition would represent South America for the Olympic Games to be played at Amsterdam in 1928. It should be noted that the other federations (Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay) did not participate because of economic and sport problems. Peru gained third place after only beating Bolivia.

Peru 1935

This tournament is characterized by the Argentine and Uruguayan conflict that rooted from the 1930 World Cup. The winners here were going to once more represent South America for the Olympic Games, this time to be played at Berlin. Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay had withdrawn from the tournament. Peru's first game resulted at a 1-0 loss, with a goal scored by a Uruguayan player at the 80th minute. The second one was not much better, and Peru lost 4-1 against Argentina. The last game was won by Peru 1-0 against Chile. The tournament gave Peru the third spot, and helped it train and improve for the 1936 Summer Olympics.

Peru 1939

This was the first international title the team won. During this time, the team had greatly improved since the World Cup and was re-assuring that dominance they had shown over Austria in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Peru won all 4 games which were against Ecuador (5-2), Chile (3-1), Paraguay (2-1), and Uruguay (2-1) in the final. It's worth the mention that in this tournament Argentina and Brazil did not participate, but that does not take down the merit of Peru's notable act. Peruvian Teodoro Fernández also was the top goal-scorer of the tournament. As an anecdote, Peru was the fourth South American team that raised the trophy (The first three being Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil).

Brazil 1949

By this time, Peruvian football was recognized by good game and playful management of the ball. Several interesting players came to the national team, but the team faced several problems with the directors and the players themselves. Peru won all but two games. As such, the national team got third place. Paraguay and Brazil, the only ones who beat Peru, had to later play a last tie-breaker match.

Peru 1953

As much as Peru did, the team was not capable to achieve another Copa America title until later years. Yet, the games played in 1953 are memorable to Peruvian football history because it was the first time Peru was able to beat Brazil (A certain something not many have been able to achieve). The goal was scored by Navarrete.

Copa América 1975

This tournament had no fixed venue. For the first phase, Peru was grouped with Chile and Bolivia. After winning both games, which were played both at home and away, Peru qualified for the semifinals along with Colombia, Brazil, and Uruguay (Which were the defending champions). Perhaps unlucky for Peru, they had to face Brazil for their semifinal. At the city of Belo Horizonte in Brazil, Peru beat the Verdeamarela by a margin of 3 to 1 with two goals from Enrique Cassareto and one by Teófilo Cubillas. The game played back home at Lima was won by Brazil 2-0. Due to the goal difference, the winner (Which turned out being Peru) was chosen by sorting.

The final match was played against Colombia, whom had beaten Uruguay. The game played at Bogotá was won by the Colombians 1 to 0. The game played at Lima was won by the Peruvians 2 to 0. Even though this meant Peru should win by the goal difference, a last game was played at the city of Caracas. With a goal at the 25th minute of the game by Hugo Sotil, Peru obtained its second international title.

Ecuador 1993

Peru had an acceptable participacion in this Copa America when they passed as the leaders of their group with 4 points, 1 more point than Brazil. Paraguay and Chile also were part of this group. Peru tied with Brazil 0-0, tied with Paraguay 1-1 and beat Chile 1-0. The lead scorer for Peru in this competition was Jose del Solar with three goals. In semifinals Peru was eliminated by Mexico 4-2.

Bolivia 1997

The team was able to reach the quarterfinals of this cup and eliminated Argentina (2:1) to advanced into the semifinals. In the semifinals, Peru faced Brazil, and lost by a margin of 7 to 0 (Peru's worst result to date). For the third place spot, Peru faced Mexico. The game was won by Mexico by a goal scored at the 82nd minute of the game.

Peru 2004

The 2004 Copa América, which they hosted, saw the team lose in the quarter-finals against Argentina. This began a wave of criticism against Peru's then coach Paulo Autuori, who boycotted the media, and his squad.

Venezuela 2007

Peru's campaign in the 2007 Copa América saw another futile attempt of the Peruvian squad, eliminated again in the quarter-finals by Argentina; the blame for this was mainly given to the tactics and formations of the coach Julio César Uribe, who did not call the appropriate players to the national team. After this situation, Peru replaced Uribe for Jose del Solar.

Other tournaments

Peru has participated in various international tournaments. Generally, the team gives a decent show and in some occasions has even been able to win some of the tournaments.

  • Peru has been part of the Olympics twice: Berlin 1936 and Rome 1960.
  • Peru has participated in the Copa Armenia of Colombia (1989), and the Nahser Cup of India (1986).
  • Peru was invited to the U.S. Cup in 1997, and reached 3rd place.
  • Peru has disputed the CONCACAF Gold Cup once in 2000, reaching 3rd place.
  • Peru has disputed 2 Kirin Cups, in 1999 and 2005, winning in both occasions.

Olympic Games Record
Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
1900-1928 Did Not Qualify - - - - - - -
1936 Quarter-finals 5/16 2 2 0 0 11 5
1948-1956 Did Not Qualify - - - - - - -
1960 Round 1 11/16 3 1 0 2 6 9
1964-2008 Did Not Qualify - - - - - - -
Total 2/24 5 3 0 2 17 14
Olympic Games History
Year Round Score Result
1936 Round of 16 7 – 3 Win
Quarter Finals 4 – 2 Win(*)
1960 Round 1 1 – 2 Loss
Round 1 2 – 6 Loss
Round 1 3 – 1 Win

(*)1936 Berlin Olympics

For more information: 1936 Berlin Olympics

In 1936, the Peruvian team was invited to join the Olympics to be played at Berlin. Peru accepted the invitation and the team set-off for Berlin with high expectations. Previously, Peru had withdrawn from the 1934 FIFA World Cup, but this time Peru wanted to show what they were capable of doing.

The first match against Finland was won with great commodity by the Peruvians (A 7-3 result). Peru's next match came against Austria in the quarterfinals, a game Adolf Hitler (An Austrian himself) was highly interested in. To the surprise of many, Peru was able to defy all odds and beat Austria (A 4-2 result). This result bothered Hitler, especially since the Peruvian team was mainly composed of black players while the Austrian team played with a white Aryan race squad. Hence, with support from Hitler, Austria was thus able to gain the chance for a repetition of the game to be once more played.

It is commonly said that one of the arguments used was that of the ball being too big and the goal too small; also that the field was too small for competition and that the Peruvian fans had stormed the field after the fourth goal. Nonetheless, whatever the case might have been, the event was regarded as an injustice from German Nazi authorities. It is because of this insulting situation that Peru figured it was best to simply leave the tournament (Austria went on to win the Silver Medal), and all the Peruvian Olympic teams left Berlin in protest to the discriminatory actions of Germany.

1997 U.S. Cup

For more information: 1997 U.S. Cup

The U.S. Cup (also known as the USA Cup, United States Cup and Nike U.S. Cup) was a soccer cup held annually in the United States from 1991 to 2000. The cup, hosted by the United States Soccer Federation, was contested between the United States and three guest teams; which in 1997 included Mexico, Peru, and Denmark. This was the first and only U.S. Cup for both Peru and Denmark.

In the first game of the tournament, Peru took the U.S. in San Diego's Jack Murphy Stadium. Striking early, when German Carty scored in the 8th minute off a Paolo Maldonado cross, Peru dominated the first-half game. Yet, even though the U.S. dominated long stretches of the second-half and had several good chances, it was unable to score on any of them. In the second game the Peruvian team had a hard time converting their technical superiority into goals, partly due to Danish goalkeeper Mogens Krogh.

Peru's last match was against Mexico, a game that Peru needed to win to reach the top of the game's scoreboard. Yet, neither Peru or Mexico were able to score and the game ended in a tie. Peru thus placed third-place in the competition and Mexico won its second title.

CONCACAF Championship/Gold Cup
Total: 0 Titles
Year Round GP W D* L GS GA
1963-1998 Not Invited - - - - - -
2000 Semi-Finals 4 1 1 2 7 7
2002-2007 Not Invited - - - - - -
Total 1/19 4 1 1 2 7 7

2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup

For more information: 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup

Peru was one of three teams invited to the 2000 Gold Cup held at the United States. This was the first time Peru had been invited to the competition, and the team accepted to enter the tournament.

Peru played in Group B of the tournament, placed with the USA and Haiti. Peru's two matches did not really go well for the team, they tied to Haiti (1-1) and lost to the USA (1-0) by the minimal difference. Nevertheless, Peru played a decent first phase that got them into the next round.

The challenge came when they had to face Group As leader, Honduras. Honduras had come from winning both of their previous games against Jamaica and Colombia. The odds were really against Peru, but the team raised its name by beating Honduras 5-3.

Peru's final match in the tournament came against Colombia. The match was won by Colombia 2-1, with an own goal from Peruvian player Salazar. Even though Peru has not been invited to the tournament ever since then, it is still a memorable participation for Peru since they went rather far (along with Colombia) into a competition that was not of their football sector.

Kirin Cup

For more information: Kirin Cup

The Kirin Cup is an annual football tournament organised in Japan by the Kirin Corporation. Participants are either club teams or national teams, but the Japan national team is always a participant. Peru was invited to this competition in 1999 and 2005.

In 1999, Peru was invited along with Belgium. To Peru this served mainly as a training tournament, but surprisingly Peru was able to achieve the title. Of course, Belgium also shared the title with Peru due to a tie in score. Nevertheless, this victory can be counted as an international title Peru has won (their third).

Similarly, in 2005, Peru was once more only coming to the tournament to do a good show and train some more. Yet, they left Japan once more with the title of champions and their 4th international title (shared with United Arab Emirates this time). Peru now holds the historic 5th place of this competition with an overall of 3 ties and 1 victory.

Kit evolution

The Peruvian team has officially used four official kits, but it also has used several alternatives. The classic colors used are red and white, which compose the flag of Peru. During the presidency of Augusto B. Leguia, the kit of Peru was taken from one of the most popular and successful teams of the Peruvian tournaments held between clubs of Lima and Callao, Alianza Lima. The kit of that particular club came about as a result of the team taking Augusto Leguia's stable shirts as a model for their design. Hence, the first kit of Peru honored both the most successful club of Peru at that time and the president of the nation. The only difference between the kits was the use of red stripes instead of Alianza's blue stripes, and the use of white shorts instead of Alianza's blue shorts. The team officially used this first uniform in the South American Championship (later renamed Copa America) of 1927 and later used it once more in the South American Championship of 1929. Originally, the kit was apparently going to remain the official kit of the national team, but when the 1930 FIFA World Cup came up, the Peruvian team was forced to change their shirts due to Paraguay registering their football kit first.

The white shirt used had a red collar and the players used red socks. After Peru lost both its games in the World Cup, the team once more looked for a new kit that would be more characteristic of the national colors of Peru. The first change came for the 1935 South American Championship, a tournament that Peru would hold for a third time. Although the team did not win, their unique white shirt with a red horizontal stripe made the first official appearance of the new design. The team's loss in the tournament is what probably once again led the team to look for a better shirt, and finally in 1936 developed a white shirt with a red stripe that crossed the chest from the left shoulder to the right hip. There is no valid conclusion as to how this shirt came to be part of the new Peruvian kit, but the usage of it during Peru's excellent performance in the 1936 Berlin Olympics would consolidate it as the new official kit of the team. Later, during the Bolivarian Games, Peru would once again bring fame to this kit as the team won the inaugural tournament of the competition. The team went on to win several more Bolivarian Games and participate in the 1960 Summer Olympics using this kit, but it was during the 1970 FIFA World Cup when the shirt reached its height in international popularity as the Peruvian team defeated several important opponents and reached the quarterfinals of that tournament. Although Peru also used their alternative kit at that time as a result of color television, the first kit of the team amounted the most prestige. Peru's current alternate kit is similar but uses a complete red kit with a white horizontal stripe. Up to this day, the unique style of the "Blanquiroja" kit has led it to become a symbol of Peru in various international tournaments.

Official First kits

  • The first uniform was that of the red stripes, white shorts, and white socks. This model was only used in the Copa América 1927 and was left aside due to its similarity with the kit of Paraguay.
  • The second uniform was that of the white shirt with red collar, white shorts, and red socks. Peru used this model when the team participated in the 1930 World Cup.
  • The third uniform was composed of a white shirt with a horizontal red stripe that crossed the chest from left to right. The shorts and socks were white.
  • The fourth and current uniform is composed of a white shirt with a diagonal red stripe that crosses the chest from the left shoulder to the right side of the hip. The shorts and socks are white (Although red socks are also being used lately).

Alternative kits

  • The first uniform was used during the 1970s as an alternative, and in the World Cups (1970 and 1978) of that year.
  • The second uniform was used during the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
  • The third uniform is currently used as the official alternative kit.
  • The fourth uniform was an alternative used in the Copa America 2007 match against Venezuela.

Football rivalries

For more information look at: Chile and Peru football rivalry

Peru and Chile have a rivalry that dates back from the War of the Pacific. Previously, the two nations had been on friendly terms sharing mutual alliances during the South American wars of independence and in the Chincha Islands War, in which both the combined armies of Peru and Chile defeated the Spain in the Pacific Ocean. However, territorial, maritime, and cultural disputes have fueled tensions since the ending of the War of the Pacific. These historical feuds and lingering bitterness have led to a large football rivalry between both nations. The games between them tend to be very rough, but very competitive nevertheless. As a result of this, their games have gained the nickname of Clasico del Pacifico, meaning the "Derby of the Pacific.

Peru's football rivalry against Ecuador is not as great, but still important to mention. Such a rivalry comes from disputes ongoing disputes between Ecuador and Peru over territory in the Amazon regions near the Equator. The rivalry is greater from the Ecuadorian side, but Peru follows close behind it. The games are also rough like those played against Chile, but the determination of both sides is generally interesting to see as both teams are usually on the attack.

Notable players

1930s to 1950s

1960s to 1980s



Manager Year(s)
Pedro Olivieri 1927
Julio Borrelli 1929
Francisco Bru 1930-1938
Jack Greenwell 1938-1939
Domingo Arrillaga 1941
Angel Fernandez 1942-1949
William Cook 1953-1956
Jorge Orth 1957-1959
Jorge de Almeyda 1963
Valdir "Didi" Pereira World Cup 1970
Roberto Scarone World Cup 1974 Qualifier
Marcos Calderon 1975-1979
"Tim" Elba de Padua Lima 1980-1982
Juan Jose Tan 1983
Moises Barack 1984 - 1985
Roberto Challe 1986-1987
Marcos Calderon 1987
Pepe 1988-1989
Miguel Company 1990 – 1991
Vladimir Popović 1991 - 1993
Miguel Company 1994 – 1995
Freddy Ternero 1996 – 1997
Juan Carlos Oblitas 1997 - 1999
Francisco Maturana 1999 - 2000
Julio César Uribe 2000 - 2002
Paulo Autuori 2002 - 2005
Freddy Ternero 2005 - 2006
Franco Navarro 2006
Julio César Uribe 2007
José "Chemo" del Solar 2007 - Present

Current squad

Head coach: José del Solar.

1 Solano was suspended for acumulating 2 yellow cards in different qualification games, and will not play against Bolivia. 2 includes 2005 FIFA U-17 World Cup caps & goals 3 includes 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup caps & goals

Recent Call Ups

The following players have also been called up to the Peruvian squad in 2008.Goalkeepers
Name Date of birth Club Caps (goals) Most Recent Call up
George Forsyth June 20 1982 Alianza Lima - (-) v. Uruguay, June 17, 2008
Name Date of birth Club Caps (goals) Most Recent Call up
Martín Hidalgo June 15 1976 Grêmio 17 (0) v. Uruguay, June 17, 2008
Miguel Villalta June 16 1981 Sporting Cristal 4 (0) v. Uruguay, June 17, 2008
Ernesto Arakaki June 13 1979 Alianza Lima 2 (0) v. Uruguay, June 17, 2008
Luis Hernández December 20 1978 Sporting Cristal - (-) v. Mexico, June 8, 2008
Juan José Jayo January 20 1973 Alianza Lima 47 (1) v. Costa Rica, March 26, 2008
Name Date of birth Club Caps (goals) Most Recent Call up
Miguel Cevasco December 27 1982 Universitario de Deportes 1 (0) v. Uruguay, June 17, 2008
Donny Neyra January 12 1984 Universitario de Deportes 1 (0) v. Uruguay, June 17, 2008
Miguel Angel Torres January 17 1982 Universitario de Deportes 1 (0) v. Uruguay, June 17, 2008
Juan Cominges October 1 1983 Atletico Huila 1 (0) v. Colombia, June 14, 2008
Reimond Manco August 23 1990 PSV Eindhoven 5 (1)1 v. Costa Rica, March 26, 2008
Pedro García March 14 1974 Universidad San Martín 2 (1) v. Bolivia, February 6, 2008
Sidney Faiffer May 12 1980 Alianza Lima - (-) v. Bolivia, February 6, 2008
Name Date of birth Club Caps (goals) Most Recent Call up
José Paolo Guerrero January 1 1984 Hamburger SV 11 (2) v. Uruguay, June 17, 2008
Junior Ross February 19 1986 Coronel Bolognesi - (-) v. Bolivia, February 6, 2008
Roberto Jiménez April 17 1983 Universitario de Deportes - (-) v. Bolivia, February 6, 2008
1 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup caps & goals

Recent and future international matches

Date Venue Opponents Result Score
February 6, 2008 Estadio Hernando Siles
La Paz, Bolivia
L 2 - 1 Friendly match
March 26, 2008 Estadio Max Augustín
Iquitos, Peru
W 3 - 1 Friendly match
May 31, 2008 Nuevo Colombino
Huelva, Spain
L 2 - 1 Friendly match
June 8, 2008 Soldier Field
Chicago, IL, USA
L 4 - 0 Friendly match
June 14, 2008 Estadio Monumental
Lima, Peru
D 1 - 1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
June 17, 2008 Estadio Centenario
Montevideo, Uruguay
L 6 - 0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
Sept. 6, 2008 Estadio Monumental
Lima, Peru
W 1 - 0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
Sept. 10, 2008 Estadio Monumental
Lima, Peru
D 1 - 1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
Oct. 11, 2008 Estadio Hernando Siles
La Paz, Bolivia
2 - 0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification

See also


External links

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