PERU TO PLAY ARGENTINA IN WC QUALIFIERS

Argentina’s World Cup qualifying campaign has already taken them to Córdoba, Mendoza and San Juan for home matches and after another disappointing result in the Monumental, La Albiceleste are now set to try their luck at the iconic Bombonera.

Following the draw with Venezuela, rumors immediately surfaced that Argentina will play their final qualifier against Peru at the home of Boca Juniors, but there is still uncertainty as to whether FIFA would approve the move, it was unclear if La Bombonera was a possibility. Read More “PERU TO PLAY ARGENTINA IN WC QUALIFIERS”

MARKARIAN SACKED

Sergio Markarian is not the manager of the Peru national football team anymore. He resigned a couple of days back. The 69 years old Uruguayan had said earlier that he would not continue at his post if Peru fails in making it to the World Cup finals and he did exactly that.

The performance of Peru in the World Cup qualifying games was way below par. They were one of the 9 teams that were taking part in the CONMEBOL qualifying tournament and they finished at no. 7 in the points table. They played a total of 16 matches out of which they managed to win just 4. They were defeated 9 times, while, the remaining 3 games were draws.

The 4 teams from CONMEBOL that made it to the finals were Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador.

Markarian’s tenure as the manager of the Peru national football team had started 3 years back in 2010. He had taken over from Jose Del Solar. There were big expectations with him and it was believed that he had the ability to guide Peru to the World Cup finals. But, he couldn’t do what was expected from him. Peru’s World Cup qualifying campaign was disastrous again and he decided to quit.

Talking to the reporters after resigning from his post, Markarian said, “Peru couldn’t qualify for the World Cup finals and the management is responsible for it. I am horribly disappointed.”

“I always maintained that if I couldn’t guide the team to Brazil, I would quit and I have done exactly that.”

“The Federation wanted me to continue, but, I am a man of my words. So, I reject their offer.”

Meanwhile, Markarian’s resignation has been confirmed by the Peruvian Football Federation as well.

PIZARRO WILL FEATURE

Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro is expected to become one of the important players at the club following the departure of Mario Gomez to Fiorentina recently. Gomez was sold to Fiorentina in the anticipation that Bayern Munich will be able to sign Robert Lewandowski from Borussia Dortmund. It is believed that the Champions League holders have agreed personal terms with the Polish international, but they have been unable to sign him because of the persistence from Dortmund that they would not allow him to join Bayern Munich.

This leaves new manager Guardiola with just two options up front and one of them is Pizarro. The former Chelsea striker has a great campaign last time around by playing as one of the three strikers in the squad. He has revealed that Guardiola has changed a lot since his arrival just over a month ago. Despite winning three major titles last season, Guardiola has substantially altered the formation and the way the club trains. Pizarro has said that it is difficult to get used to this new style of way immediately, but he reckons that once they clearly understand what the manager wants, they will be unstoppable.

Bayern already have one of the best squads in the world and the recently brought in Gotze as well.

“I can’t say [how long it’ll take], we need to be patient. It takes time to understand what he wants, but we’re on the right track. We still need some time, but we’ll do it. It’s different, I’ve been in football a long time and I’ve never had a coach who makes so many changes. Once we get it I think we’ll be a great team. For the strikers it’s a bit easier – we just need to put defenders under pressure up front, that’s what he wants,” said Pizarro.

PERU LINE UP FRIENDLY

The Peru national football team will play a friendly match in South Korea next month. This announcement was made by the Korean Football Association yesterday.

However, it hasn’t been decided yet that the match will take place at which venue. The KFA is likely to announce that soon.

This is only the second time that these two countries will take on each other. The first and only match played between them was 42 years back in 1971. Peru had hosted that match.

There is not much difference in the world rankings of South Korea and Peru at the moment. Peru is at the 30th position, while, South Korea is at no. 40 in the official FIFA rankings.

According to the reports, the Peruvian Football Federation wanted this match to be organized a bit earlier, but, South Korea has to host East Asian Championships as well in July, so, the KFA decided to schedule this match in August.

South Korea has already made it to the World Cup 2014 finals which are going to be organized in Brazil. But, Peru is yet to get there. They still have some games remaining though and this friendly game will be good practice for them.

The South Korean team is also going through a transitional phase at the moment. There have been changes in their management recently and the former skipper Hong Myung-Bo has been appointed as the new manager of the team. So, this match is going to be important for them as well. This is an opportunity for them to test their preparations for the World Cup Finals.

Meanwhile, South Korea is considered as a strong contender in the East Asian Championships as well. They know their home conditions pretty well and they would be hard to beat. The three other teams which will take part in the East Asian Championships are Japan, Australia and China.

TOUGH MATCH

Trinidad and Tobago coach Hutson Charles has said that the team are already looking forward to playing against teams like Peru in friendly matches. The national team has been scheduled to play against Peru and Belize ahead of the CONCACAF Gold Cup that will resume in July. Trinidad will be first taking on Belize at the end of March, while they will be playing Peru at Lima three days later. This is not the first time that Trinidad will be playing against Peru, as the teams have met each other in a friendly back in October. The Caribbean team lost their encounter 2-0 back then and they will be looking for revenge this time around.

Charles has said that the team had a great opportunity to play against a quality opposition like Peru, who have a number of players playing abroad. There were also several locally based players as well. He has said that the process of learning from their opponents is not over yet because Trinidad still have a lot to learn from the likes of Peru. Meanwhile, the first friendly match will take place at the Ato Boldon Stadium, which is located in Couva. Other venues are not available to host this match, as they are being renovated.

Belize come into the match after having recently been defeated by Costa Rica 1-0. “We had a good opportunity to see some of the players from abroad in the last game against Peru and we also had the chance to see the local-based players in that particular game. The process of seeing what the players have to offer will continue in these two matches coming up. These are games that we are looking forward to. Playing away to Peru will be a good opportunity for the players to get a good test in conditions away from home,” said Charles.

PIZZARO BACKS PERU

The Bayern Munich striker Claudio Pizarro is regarded as one of the best footballers from Peru of all-time. He has played for various high-profile clubs like Bayern Munich and Chelsea over the years. He has now said that he is extremely confident that the Peruvian national team can qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Due to the fact that this World Cup will be held in the home continent, a number of the teams like Uruguay and Argentina are also the favourites to lift the competition. However, Pizarro is more concerned about getting Peru to play in this competition by qualifying.

The World Cup qualifying for the South American countries has been going on for a little while. Peru have not qualified for a major tournament like the FIFA World Cup for quite a while now, which has always been the ambition of the Bayern Munich striker. He recently became the first foreign player to score more than 160 goals in the Bundesliga, while he has also made more than 330 appearances in this league. He has said that he is extremely delighted and proud of his record. The 34-year-old is now hoping to help Peru qualify for the World Cup more than anything else.

“I’m absolutely convinced that we can do it and I think the Peruvian public are starting to believe it too. It’ll be difficult, but we’re prepared for the remaining qualifying fixtures. I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again: my dream is to reach the World Cup with my country. That’s what we’re trying to achieve. Argentina and Uruguay are the most likely to qualify, although Colombia are doing very well right now. It’ll be very tight right up until the end,” said the 34-year-old in an interview given to FIFA.com.

MESSI LOOKING FORWARD TO PERU MATCH

The Argentine superstar Lionel Messi has said that the game with the Peruvian national team as part of the World Cup qualifying fixtures was more of a fight than a football match. However, he has also said that he is extremely delighted to come out of the match with the positive result of having drawn their encounter 1-1. The Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain was on the score sheet for Argentina, while his goal had cancelled out the goal from Carlos Zambrano earlier in the match. The Peruvian football Association recently apologised to the Argentine national team for the way they have been treated by the fans prior and after the match.

Argentina are one of the favourites to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and they currently have a one-point advantage over the Colombian national team in the table. They have 14 points on the board. After the match, the Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, who is undoubtedly one of the best players of the national team, has said that he was extremely satisfied with the outcome of the match.

“It was a really tight game, and it was more fight than football. Away games like this are always difficult and you have to be strong. The pitch did not exactly help either, but I don’t want to use that as an excuse. We would have preferred to bag the full three points, but the most important thing was not to lose. A draw is a good result as we still sit atop of the table. We will have to win our next game against Uruguay,” said the Argentine striker after the match. Argentina will be looking to make use of the World Cup that will be held in their home continent and win it for the first time after many years.

URUGUAY INCREASE PRESSURE

Uruguay managed to increase the pressure on the national team manager of Peru, Sergio Markarian, after yet another defeat for the national team. Sergio Markarian has been under pressure in the last couple of weeks after failing to get the right kind of results even with the best squad at its disposal.

Uruguay only managed to increase the pressure on him after their win over Peru in the latest World Cup qualifying match. Peru last qualified for the World Cup back in 1982, but they were looking at the possibility of making it into the tournament that will be held in their home continent.

However, the latest loss against Uruguay now means that they set near the bottom of the table with only three points on the board. Their opponents on the night, Uruguay, on the other hand now have seven points and lead the table. Speaking after the match, the Uruguay national team manager Oscar Washington Tabarez said that he is extremely confident that Peru will be able to do well in the remaining World Cup qualifiers. The Peru national team was missing a number of high profile players due to injury and Oscar Washington Tabarez has said that the team will be much better when they get the first-team players back, according to the Tottenham news website.

“I got (telephone) calls that tell me the ball didn’t go in for the first goal. They tell me that for the second goal there is offside. Luis Suarez is clearly off. I’m not going to make a value judgment over the refereeing nor do I want to stain Uruguay’s victory, which was fair without doubt, but I’m left with a sour taste, a hard defeat,” said Sergio Markarian after the match. He has also said that he will not be resigning from his post as the national team manager after this defeat.