In the fantastic city of Turin, in northern Italy, he was born and raised Gianluca Lapadula. There, in the so-called ‘country of the boot’, the seasoned striker began to forge his talent with boots and, in fact, his entire football career has been mostly limited to this nation, playing for teams like Milan, Genoa, Benevento , among others. That is why he always, since he was little, dreamed of playing a World Cup with the ‘Azzurri’ and could not fulfill it, just as he has not been able to now with Peru, after losing against Australia in the playoffs. However, there will be at least one more chance for him to continue dreaming of a world Cup. This setback suffered in Doha will not make him throw in the towel.
As much as his life and career were built mainly in Italy, Lapadula He never ceased to have a strong bond with Peru, since his mother was born there. For this reason, the ‘Bambino’ had the great option of representing the national teams of both nations and, in the first instance, it was decided -of course- by the ‘Squadra Azzurra’.
In 2016 he was called up for the first time by the Italian national team and it was not until the following year that he made his debut with a hat-trick in a friendly against San Marino. However, that was not enough to convince the European team and they did not consider it again.
Previously, the Peruvian team had communicated on different occasions with Lapadula to express interest in having their services. The answer was slow in coming. After not having an opportunity in the ‘Squadra Azzurra’, the striker was encouraged to venture with the ‘Blanquirroja’ from November 2020, already 30 years old. The rest is history.
The romance with Peru
Love crosses borders. From Italy to Peru. There are no limits in between. Gianluca Lapadula you can confirm it. He ended up betting on the country of origin of his mother and has already brimmed with joy many times at so much love received.
Despite initial questions about his late election, Lapadula assured that he would leave everything for the team. And so it has been. It didn’t take long for him to win the affection of the Peruvians. He has become one of the most loved players in the national team. And his constant struggle on the field, with incessant goals, have fully supported him.
Between hugs, conquests, sacrifice and blows, the special history of the ‘Bambino’ with the national team has been written. The current casualties of two historic scorers such as Paolo Guerrero and Jefferson Farfán made us lose scoring hope, but Lapadula took on the enormous challenge of being the ‘9’ of the team and did not disappoint.
Together with André Carrillo and Christian Cueva, the Italian-born striker formed a special trident for our country in the last World Cup process. His records have been quite positive: he converted eight goals and gave three assists in 22 games played.
Now, in the biggest moment of his career, Lapadula did what he had to do: he scored in the play-off penalty shootout against Australia. However, the ‘Blanquirroja’ could not finalize his transfer to Qatar 2022 and the ‘Bambino’ ended up being left empty-handed.
But there will be revenge. For the next process towards the 2026 World Cup, Gianluca Lapadula, 32, will be as important as he has already been on the road to Qatar 2022. His goals and great sacrifice on the field will be extremely necessary for the Peruvian team to dream again with the sixth World Cup in its history. This year it was not possible and we will have to accept it, but later on the fight must continue.
I, Ronald Payne, am a journalist and author who dedicated his life to telling the stories that need to be said. I have over 7 years of experience as a reporter and editor, covering everything from politics to business to crime.