He appeared at San Martín 2019 and the first thing one remembers is his vehemence: he was a purebred bull, with an outside kick, very close in look to the first Ovelar that arrived in Peru. In fact, blood had. When we journalists asked, it was Álvaro Barco who responded: “He has Paraguayan blood.” That was the explanation for his game.
Four years later, Zanelatto is in the adult team. In a medium with serious shortcomings, which has a 39-year-old Paolo as the starter and his 9 promising players falling one after another (Succar, Da Silva, Yordy, Quevedo), the Alianza winger appears. This is his story.
Reynoso gave the preliminary list of those called up for the matches against Chile and Argentina for the third and fourth days of the South American Qualifiers towards the 2026 World Cup. One of the new additions has been Franco Zanelatto, the Alianza Lima player, who has Paraguayan nationality, his country of birth, but he lived in Peruvian lands from a very young age.
Franco Zanelatto was born in Asunción (Paraguay) in 2000 and came with his family when he was 7 years old for his father’s job (basketball coach of the Regatas club). Carlos Zanelatto and Olga Téllez were key in his training.
Due to his good performances in the youth ranks of the Universidad San Martín club, he spent three months on a scholarship at the Marcet Foundation in Spain. There he received induction and was away from his family. In Marcet he wanted Zanelatto to stay, but he was still a boy and in San Martín they decided to have him return.
He did all his training in the Saint team as a winger. He debuted in first class with the USMP in 2019. Alianza Lima bought him at the end of 2021 and loaned him to Alianza Atlético in 2022. He has already become a Peruvian national and today he is going through a great moment in the blue and white team, which has led to be called to the Peruvian team.
El Comercio called Héctor Bidoglio, who from Thailand, a country where he currently directs and has been achieving titles, was happy with the present of his former pupil Franco Zanelatto.
“I had Franco Zanelatto at San Martín, he was a different player, fast, explosive, with a lot of personality, who did not diminish any of them. He was a player with a lot of progress, sacrifice, who when he had to define, he outlined his body well, he did not close his eyes and defined wherever he wanted, he was a player who understood the game very well, he knew what behaviors should be performed when it comes to pressure and changing positions in attack,” Bidoglio told El Comercio.
The nationalized Argentine coach who led San Martín and who was in charge of giving him minutes after his debut details the potential that Zanelatto can achieve continuity. “We always wanted him to become nationalized, because I remember that he had Paraguayan nationality, but he had a lot of level and I’m talking about him doing all these things when he was a young player. I imagine that if he now has experience and begins to feel like an important player, he can become a much more destabilizing player than he was previously,” he said.
“Personally he was always very professional, he was a player who asked a lot of things, who took great care of himself. He was always very well surrounded, I know that the family always took great care of him, since they helped him a lot and that is very important. That environment pushed him forward and in that San Martín there were many important young players, Franco was one of them and I am not surprised that he is doing well, since they are one of those forwards who have all the qualities that are needed,” stated the strategist. Argentine to this newspaper.
Franco Zanelatto’s numbers in the current season
Another of the players who repeats his call to the national team and who is Juan Reynoso’s bet to consolidate himself in the Peruvian team is Jhamir D’Arrigo, who has gone from less to more with Melgar. Reynoso likes the midfielder because of his vision of the game and his intelligence with the ball.
What is Reynoso looking for with the arrival of both?
As El Comercio learned, what Juan Reynoso is looking for with the call of Franco Zanelatto and Jhamir D’Arrigo seeks to test fast players to be able to play against. This is due to the possible absence of André Carrillo, who due to injury would be out of the games against Chile and Argentina.
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.