The South American World Cup 2022 Qualifiers return this month with a double date. While Brazil and Argentina already had their tickets for Qatar 2022, there are two direct spots left and one pass to the inter-confederation play-offs. Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile are fighting to earn those spots.
After a rocky start, Peru, coached by Ricardo Gareca, have recovered and currently are in the fifth place of the standings, securing at least the chance to go into the playoffs. The team still has time to make it into the top four, but in order to do that, they can’t afford to lose points.
In their last two games, they beat Venezuela and Bolivia. But now they are going to play with Colombia and Ecuador, who also want to get into Qatar 2022. Gareca called a 30-men roster, but veteran Paolo Guerrero won’t be playing for La Blanquirroja. Here, check out why.
Paolo Guerrero won’t be playing for Peru
Guerrero, 38, has not been playing with a club since he left Internacional Porto Alegre in October 2021. The forward was linked with his boyhood club Alianza Lima, but they didn’t reach an agreement. On the other hand, he’s been dealing with an injury on his right knee since 2020.
Talking about why he didn’t call Guerrero and Jefferson Farfan for this double date, Gareca said that he admired them and they’re “important” players, however, that doesn’t “guarantee” them a spot in the squad. “We're supporting them, but that doesn’t mean they are going to play with the national team,” the coach said.
Gareca also explained that he wants Guerrero “to play, to have rhythm and to be happy, because he doesn’t have anything to prove.” He has scored 39 goals with the national team of Peru and given 10 assists.