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“The arrival of Oliver Sonne to the national team and why it seems like a fall from the sky” | OPINION

I don’t know how much his Peruvian relatives have told our new compatriot about our country, but just the traffic at the intersection of Fawcett and Morales Duárez could be a powerful reason for him to wonder what the hell he was thinking when he decided to accept Juan Reynoso’s proposal.

For many years our team was characterized by nationalizing goalkeepers. First it was Humberto Horacio Ballesteros, who could not stand under the national goal in the ’73 qualifying rounds because that possibility was contrary to the mandates of the so-called ‘Peruvian revolution’. More pragmatic, Morales Bermúdez allowed Ramón Quiroga to wear the 21 thanks to an ‘express’ process prior to the qualifiers for Argentina 78. The audacious – although foolish – interventions of Juan Carlos Zubczuk in the Universitario goal made him worthy of the notebook electoral for the ’93 qualifiers, although he did not play. And then, given the inconsistencies of Miranda, Yupanqui and other goalkeepers of the time, Julio Balerio and Óscar Ibáñez released DNI for the first time. The greatest demonstration of our poor training work is that in addition to goalkeepers, in the last 25 years we have had to incorporate midfielders (Tempone, Calcaterra, Benavente), forwards (Julinho, Costa, Lapadula) and now, with Sonne, full backs.

Let me not be misunderstood: I am convinced that Peru must resort to all the resources that the rules allow, and many of the footballers mentioned defended the bicolor even better than those born here (Quiroga, great goalkeeper). We must not forget that in addition to Sonne, Reynoso has just called up Zanelatto (born in Paraguay) and has Cabellos (with Argentine roots) at his disposal. The difference is that while other countries look for these alternatives to expand their palette of candidates, here we do it due to scarcity.

Sonne’s arrival seems to have fallen from the sky. The Danish league is not top, but it is several steps above ours. Like Lapadula, he is one of the best in his club and has just been chosen among the most outstanding in the tournament. He is confident on the mark, he reaches the last line and has a goal. In principle, he is very good for the team as long as Lora does not consolidate and Corzo and Advíncula (who is again a starter in the national team this Thursday) continue to be the owners of that band. Perhaps, as Diego Rebagliati says, ‘Cabezón’ has not yet made him play and this call will help him get to know his teammates and adapt to the style of the national team. Maybe. What Reynoso thinks is usually inscrutable.


For many years, the National Stadium housed a restaurant that its owner named “5-0.” He did it in tribute to the victory that the team gave to its Chilean counterpart on July 28, 1953, for the first edition of the so-called Pacific Cup. It was the team in which Toto Terry, Tito Drago, Guillermo Delgado and Chocolatín Heredia shone, under the direction of ‘Mago’ Juan Valdivieso.

The confrontations with ‘La Roja’ have always been considered a classic. Just as some of us remember them with sadness – and indignation – such as the 4-0 in Santiago that took us out of France 98, others we watch over and over again on YouTube or Tik Tok. There is the 3-0 that, with dancing and everything, we gave them in the 2019 Copa América or the unforgettable 6-0 of the Company team, the night when Maestri and Baroni scored three goals each.

We older children still remember the 2-1 in 1985, when Franco Navarro scored what must be one of the best Peruvian goals in history (he put the ball to sleep with a touch and then slapped it on the exit of ‘Cóndor’ Rojas) or the 2-0 in 77 (goals from Sotil and Oblitas), after which an excited Morales Bermúdez put on Julio Meléndez’s sweaty shirt to sing, with his hand firmly on his chest, the National Anthem.

Chile has never been an easy opponent, even more so when it is injured as it seems it will be in this Thursday’s game. To get a positive result, our team needs to add audacity to their defensive firmness to do damage in the opposing goal. Paolo’s good level, Reyna’s return and Carrillo’s seemingly miraculous recovery give a little hope.

Source: Elcomercio

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