In three Racing games he has not added more than 65 minutes, but he already has a goal. A goal from ‘9’: taking a rebound from an empty goal, one of those goals that was impossible to miss for the old Guerrero. Of course he is still that, not the young and elastic Paolo of his ideal times, but a reference who knows the area as his room. Within it, he squares his back to protect the ball, turns, feints and one still observes that the youthful back of San Martín – who chronologically could be his son – cannot turn it over. He is the Paolo of today, eagerly seeking the end of his career that he proposed and promised himself. Looking for the ideal ending for the film of who has been the best center forward in Peru in the last 50 years.
Better than Master? Yes. Clearly. Paolo is a pivot pointer like Flavio, but he had much more play and the ability to move to the sides and behind the penalty mark. He could score the same goals as the former Cristal, but he also had more collective, more global participation. Better than Navarro? Yes. There is no doubt. In technical and movement terms, both were artistic, but without a doubt Paolo’s validity was greater in the great plane of a national team. Franco had his brilliant time from 83 to 86, but Paolo enjoyed a golden decade from 2011 to 2021, in which -for more information- he was the scorer of three America’s Cups, as well as runner-up in one of them. Better than Pizarro? With the bicolor, without a doubt. That is the item where Paolo takes advantage of the great club player that Claudio was. With the national team, Paolo took the role of captain and under his fundamental leadership he reached the World Cup with “six key goals” in the Qualifiers, including the one against Colombia that enabled the pass to the playoffs. Ballot impossible to match for a ‘Bomber’ checked by other pressures and backpacks every time he stepped on Videna.
Better than today? Not currently. Race against race is more than Lapadula or Ruidíaz, but the present of both puts them in pole position to be the ‘9’ of Peru. The priority at this moment for Paolo is to seal a career epilogue different from what was done in Avai in Brazil. Six months without goals and with injuries is not the ideal ending for such a scorer. The fact that coach Fernando Gago -another star who underwent ligament operations- has given him this chance in Argentina is fair and necessary for the great Peruvian ‘9’.
There are characters who are symbols of a time, athletes who escaped identification with just one shirt, key players to understand a time of sport in their country. They are heroes who made our lives so happy with their exploits that we just want them to do well. Paolo belongs to that lineage. Just for him, for wishing him the closing that he wants so much, we have shouted a goal from Racing louder than Francella.
I have worked in the news industry for over 10 years. I have a keen interest in sports and have written for many different publications. I am currently working as an author at 24 News Recorder. I cover mostly sports news but also write about other topics such as current affairs and politics. I have a strong interest in social media and how it can be used to engage with audiences.