After having an impressive run that saw them finish runners-up in 2019, Peru head to the Copa America 2021 hoping to achieve a similar result and keep showing their improvement in the region. Manager Ricardo Gareca has already released the 26-man roster for the upcoming tournament.
La Blanquirroja will try to redeem themselves after a weak start to the Conmebol World Cup Qualifiers, while coach Gareca might be taking this as an opportunity to try new players. His priority seems to be earning a Qatar 2022 berth, even though the continental cup always means a huge challenge.
Peru were grouped alongside tough opponents such as Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela in Zone B. They'll return to La Verde-amarela's territory, where they were close to winning their third title two years ago.
Peru's squad for Copa America 2021
Despite they were beaten by the hosts in the grand final, Ricardo Gareca's boys made history by taking Peru to the Copa America's defining game for the first time since 1975. With the 2021 edition looming around, El Tigre has submitted the list of players for the new contest.
However, his announcement has taken many by surprise. The likes of Paolo Guerrero, who is among the tournament's top scorers, Raúl Ruidíaz, and Pedro Aquino were snubbed from the 26-man squad. Apparently, these controversial calls were due to the manager's idea of trying new players for the future as his priority seems to be the South American World Cup Qualifiers.
Despite these kinds of absences have upset Peruvian fans, the team is ready to begin its campaign with Gareca at the helm. These will be the names who'll represent La Blanquirroja in the continental cup:
Goalkeepers (3): Pedro Gallese (Orlando City), Carlos Cáceda (Melgar), José Carvallo (Universitario)
Defenders (10): Aldo Corzo (Universitario), Luis Abram (Vélez Sarsfield), Jhilmar Lora (Sporting Cristal), Christian Ramos (Club UCV), Anderson Santamaría (Atlas), Alexander Callens (New York City FC), Miguel Araujo (FC Emmen), Miguel Trauco (Saint Ettiene), Marcos López (San Jose Earthquakes), Renzo Garcés (Club UCV).
Midfielders (9): Martín Tavara (Sporting Cristal), Sergio Peña (FC Emmen), Christian Cueva (Al-Fateh), Wilder Cartagena (Godoy Cruz), Renato Tapia (RC Celta), André Carrillo (Al Hilal FC), Yoshimar Yotún (Cruz Azul), Alexis Arias (Melgar), Raziel García (Cienciano).
Forwards (4): Luis Iberico (Melgar), Alex Valera (Universitario), Gianluca Lapadula (Benevento), Santiago Ormeño (Club León).