The Peruvian Fantastic Four

Right here in South America, the whole continent jumps of joy, why? Because in South America we absolutely love World Cup Qualifiers, this is because through this qualifications we have seen some pulsing matches, for example, during the USA 94 qualifiers, Colombia, country where I live and support since I was born, beat Argentina 5-0, producing a scandal within the media and the whole continent. Bolivia in 2010 also smashed Argentina 6-1, and let’s not forget either the classic Argentina-Brazil encounters, at this point I guess you can already see why we love so much these matches, but this year is completely different from any other qualification we have seen, because this time no team has an easy win. in previous road to World Cup encounters, teams like Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela were easy for the other competitors, and since the Copa America, all the teams have taken a huge step in football, producing more and more players in Europe.

Peru is NOT an example of this evolution in South American national squads, in fact, they just have four major players in Europe and all four of them are playing in that continent for a while now, here in South America they have adoped the name of ‘The Fantastic Four’, because together they can create a huge impact for the team, if you don’t know who these players are, well, here you are going to know some of his qualities and if these four players seem enough to make Peru reach their dream of qualifying to the 2014 World Cup, a dream they have since 1982, the last time they qualified to a World Cup.

Claudio Pizarro (Werder Bremen), Paolo Guerrero (Hamburg SV), Jefferson Farfan (Schalke 04) and Juan Manuel Vargas (Fiorentina) are the names of the Peruvian ‘Fantastic Four’, this gathering was completed just now, during these qualifications, after some injury problems by the players and also by disagreements with Peru previous manager, Jose ‘Chemo’ Del Solar. Now talking inividually about these players, first we have Claudio Pizarro, the most veteran ‘superhero’ in this ‘Fantastic Four’ reunion, striker, 33 years old and vast experience on the Bundesliga, he brings to Peru great power on the air, as his heading ability is something that defines him, he also knows how to shoot from every angle, he proved that yesterday converting a goal to Chile from a very acute angle to score. Pizarro physique can be determinant to create dangerous chances, as he can easily tuggle with a strong defender and even leave him behind with a bit of speed he has inside him.

Juan Manuel Vargas and Jefferson ‘Foquita’ Farfan on the wing, these two players are very loyal to their respective clubs, playing for them since 2008, Vargas is very mentioned in Europe as he is a very creative midfielder, he sometimes scores some magnificent goals, Vargas also proves a strong body, and his shooting has both power and finesse, becoming immediately the main man to take free kicks for Peru, despite having a strong built, he can elude defenders with ease and his crosses are precise and always bringing venom into the opposition’s box. Farfan has more speed than Vargas, by always bursting through the wing and always desperate to make his team score, in Peru’s matches so far, he has appeared as the main controller of the ball for them, by his constant movement and his vision to put nice passes for Pizarro or Guerrero to score.

last but certainly not least we have Paolo Guerrero, my personal favourite of all ‘Fantastic Four’, I still can’t understand how this striker hasn’t gone to a better team, especially now as his team, Hamburg SV, sits last on Bundesliga. Guerrero has a very elegant skill, he is not that type of player that immediately throws tricks to his opponent, he uses body faints and his own body to get past defenders, and what surprises me, is how he wins every single challenge he gets, always getting free space to shoot by himself or assisting a teammate, Guerrero can find on his own a clear chance even without having any teammate near him, he keeps the ball to himself and uses everything on his power just to have the bal in his feet, his shooting looks very struggling for goalkeepers, as his shots are powerful and with nice accuracy.

Peru won 2-0 on Friday against Copa America finalists Paraguay, but yesterday they suffered a tough loss against Chile, with the final result of 4-2, this results give in to only one conclusion, Can Peru make the 2014 World Cup with their very own Fantastic Four? I guess that while matches come and go, we will find out shortly.

Written by Andres Hernandez
Follow me @andresehao
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