The campaign for the qualifying process for the 2026 World Cup begins this week. The format will be everyone against everyone and FIFA will award 6 and a half places for South America. That is, 6 will directly enter the next World Cup and the seventh will play a playoff with a country from another continent.
It is the first time that so many places have been awarded for South America. If we play a journalistic game about what would have happened since the free-for-all format existed, we will see that the peruvian team He would have qualified for 3 World Cups, he would have been eliminated in another three and would have gone to the repechage in 1 of them.
The three World Cups we would have gone to would be France 98 (we classified fifth with Juan Carlos Oblitas), Qatar 2022 (fifth with Ricardo Gareca) and obviously Russia 2018 also with Gareca, where we were also fifth but, unlike the route to Qatar, we did win the repechage.
The three World Cups that we would not have gone to in any way would have been Korea-Japan 2022 (we were eighth with Francisco Maturana and Julio César Uribe), Germany 2006 (we were ninth with Paulo Autuori and Freddy Ternero) and South Africa 2010 (tenth with Chemo del Solar).
The playoffs we would have been to would be Brazil 2014, with Sergio Markarián. In those qualifiers, despite having achieved third place in the 2011 Copa América, he only managed to be seventh in qualifying.
The chances today for Juan Reynoso seem better since the quotas released, but as you can see, staying in the top 7 has been something that has not been achieved regularly, since the format existed.
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