A few days ago, the Nacional ‘exploded’ with joy and hubbub for the goal achieved: the Peruvian team reached the playoffs for the second time in a row thanks to Ricardo Gareca and he was only one game away from attending the Qatar 2022 World Cup. Without a doubt, the ‘Tiger’ and the Blanquirroja have formed a successful relationship for seven years. A connection that had a not entirely good start, but that paid off over time.
A day like today, but in 2015, the 64-year-old coach stopped his first team against Venezuela, which was led by Noel Sanvicente at the time. Stage? Lockhart Stadium in the United States. The context? They were preparing for the 2015 Copa América, in which the Bicolor would end up in third place.
Although the Vinotinto won that victory thanks to Josef Martínez’s goal, we are not here to analyze how that match took place, but to highlight that only six players from that team remained in the Argentine coach’s calls and were against Uruguay and Paraguay in the final stretch of the Qatar 2022 Qualifiers.
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What was Gareca’s first eleven?
The ‘Tiger’ used a 4-2-3-1 system: Pedro Gallese; Luis Advíncula, Carlos Zambrano, Christian Ramos, Jair Céspedes; Renato Tapia, Josepmir Ballon; Paolo Hurtado, André Carrillo, Jean Deza and Irven Ávila.
Of all those mentioned, only 6 ‘survived’ the passage of time, while the others stopped being called up, disappeared from the ‘Tiger’ radar or were present in calls but did not make up the final list of 23 players, as in the case of Josepmir Ballon.
From that first team, Céspedes lost the position to Miguel Trauco. Tapia was used by a dismissal from Carlos Lobatón, but he ended up taking over the midfield. The opposite occurred with Josepmir Ballón, who lost the starting job to Yoshimar Yotún.
The most striking is in the following line: Jean Deza was called to be the driver of the team, but was replaced in the first minutes by Christian Cueva. The ‘Mouse’ went through those of Cain and appeared more in entertainment programs than in sports, while ‘Aladdin’ took over the ’10’ and became the revelation player of ‘Tiger’.
Hurtado’s case is totally different, since he was always considered and is still on Ricardo Gareca’s radar; however, his constant injuries have kept him away from Videna. Finally, Irven Ávila stopped being considered due to the good moment of Paolo Guerrero, Alex Valera and the incorporation of Gianluca Lapadula.