Peru Copa America squad review: A potential dark horse

As is the case with all editions of the Copa America, every South American team automatically qualifies for the tournament. But the Peru Copa America squad arrives stateside in good form, after four games unbeaten, providing ideal preparation for a group that contains feared outright favourites Argentina.

Peru – Key stats

Year founded: 1922

Current FIFA ranking: 32

Peru are the second-highest ranked side in Group A of Copa America, but are still very much seen as outsiders to go far this summer. This coincided with their chequered form over the last year, which has seen them drop from 21st to 32nd.

Highest FIFA ranking: 10

After reaching the Copa America quarter-finals in 2016, Peru went unbeaten throughout the whole of 2017 en-route to qualifying for the following year's World Cup in Russia. So, to see them rise so high in FIFA's rankings was no surprise, although it's been a quick decline since then, especially with Peru taking Copa America's silver medal in 2019.

Year of Copa America debut: 1927

Despite having the privilege of hosting their debut appearance in the competition, Peru ended up winning just one game and conceded 11 goals in the process, so it wasn't one to remember.

Best Copa America performance: Winners (1939 & 1975)

The two-time winners have done so in very differing circumstances. In 1939, only five teams participated in Copa America, but it was a far more impressive feat by 1975. La Blanquirroja went all the way after beating the likes of Chile, Brazil and Colombia.

Player to watch: Gianluca Lapadula

Given his experience at major tournaments, and the fact that he is a Serie A player, Gianluca Lapadula is likely to be handed the chance to lead the line. The Peruvian striker also only needs one more goal to enter Peru's top-10 list of all-time top scorers.

Full Peru Copa America squad

The Peru squad announcement threw up next to no surprises for football fans, but they will still need to play above their usual level if they wish to make a third semi-final appearance in four editions, let alone lift the cup.

Goalkeeper

  • Pedro Gallese (Orlando City)
  • Carlos Caceda (Melgar)
  • Diego Romero (Universitario)

Defence

  • Alexander Callens (AEK Athens)
  • Anderson Santamaria (Atlas)
  • Gu-Rum Choi (ADT)
  • Luis Abram (Atlanta United)
  • Luis Advincula (Boca Juniors)
  • Marcos Lopez (Feyenoord)
  • Matias Lazo (Melgar)
  • Miguel Araujo (Portland Timbers)
  • Nelson Cabanillas (Universitario)
  • Oliver Sonne (Silkeborg)
  • Paulo Reyna (Talleres)
  • Renzo Garces (Alianza Lima)

Midfield

  • Alfonso Barco (Defensor Sporting)
  • Catriel Cabellos (Alianza Lima)
  • Jairo Concha (Universitario)
  • Jesus Castillo (Gil Vicente)
  • Jorge Murrugarra (Universitario)
  • Kenji Cabrera (Melgar)
  • Martin Tavara (Sporting Cristal)
  • Piero Quispe (Pumas UNAM)
  • Renato Tapia (Celta Vigo)
  • Sergio Pena (Malmo)
  • Wilder Cartagena (Orlando City)

Attack

  • Alex Valera (Universitario)
  • Andre Carillo (Al-Qadsiah)
  • Any Polo (Universitario)
  • Bryan Reyna (Belgrano)
  • Fabrizio Roca (Sport Boys)
  • Franco Zanelatto (Alianza Lima)
  • Gianluca Lapadula (Cagliari)
  • Luis Iberico (Riga)
  • Jhamir D'Arrigo (Alianza Lima)
  • Joao Grimaldo (Sporting Cristal)
  • Jose Rivera (Universitario)
  • Kevin Quevedo (Univesidad Catolica)
  • Paolo Guerrero (Universidad Cesar Vallejo)
  • Raul Ruidiaz (Seattle Sounders)

Aaron is a multi-skilled sports content writer and media professional. He is a specialist in both Men's and Women's football, along with golf.