A heavy fall shook her national football after the elimination of the Peru national team by Australia for the intercontinental playoffs who awarded the penultimate quota Qatar 2022. However, there is little time to mourn, because the next South America qualification starts in 2023.
Yesterday’s defeat sets a historic record in Peruvian football, marking the gap that has closed the cycle of a successful era under Ricardo Gareca’s command so far. From the hands of the Argentine strategist, we were able to attend a World Cup after 36 years and contest a Copa America final after 44.
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Round results if we add that the Argentine strategist had to look for players from the Peruvian league, a tournament that has been among the worst in South America at club level in recent years.
In addition, with the few players who play abroad, a point against the coach was solved very well. Let’s remember that in the top leagues in Europe (Serie A, Premier League, Bundesliga, Liga de España and Ligue 1) we only have two players: Renato Tapia (Celta de Vigo) and Miguel Trauco (Saint-Étienne). In this context, the question of the absence of Peruvian players in foreign leagues arises.
To better understand this premise, The Republic spoke to Víctor Zaferson Mendoza, a sports journalist with a master’s degree in sports management from the Johan Cruyff Institute and an independent football scout who worked for Bayer 04 in Germany.
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Before we start the query, we need to understand: what is it and what is the role of a scouting team in football?
The scout is the person who looks for talent in each field. In the case of football, it’s football scout in English or football talent scout in Spanish. Scouting is the action of the scout. I’ve been working on this since 2001 and devote myself to football from all possible tournaments at club and national team level. I always take note of any information the international scouts/agents ask me for and they take care of the contact after evaluating the information I gave them. It weighs the clinical eye and also the player’s measurements with and without the ball. It’s a multidisciplinary work.
Well, on that premise, do you think the level of Peruvian football scouting among underage players influences the low level of international exports of national team players?
If it affects, of course. There are precariously trained footballers. Others are incomplete and there are others who are very well educated and don’t play or do little. An average player in Peru needs to add 100 games in League 1 to catch up and be competitive. This is how they are measured in international tournaments: Copa Libertadores and Sudamericana as well as the national team tournaments. If they worked better in training and footballers from the age of 18 had a demanding job, by the time they were 21 or 22 they would have 100 games in the premier league and could move to international level. This is very rare in Peru. Peruvian soccer players are considered currency in the air abroad.
Why do you think the Peruvian football market is unremarkable if not nil for foreign teams?
Because they are not competitive. They want them, they ask them, they’re interested, but they want them for free, so just paycheck, not for the passport. It is very difficult for a Peruvian U23 footballer to go abroad for at least $1 million. They prefer a Chilean, Paraguayan, Venezuelan, Colombian or Ecuadorian. Since they were 12 years old, they have been ahead of us in training and competition.
Assuming that a scouting analyzes a player’s behavior and characteristics, why has it become a trend in recent years to emigrate and return to the national football team after 6 or 8 months?
The Peruvian footballer finds it difficult to rise above average. At the top level, they want immediate impact. When you arrive for free it’s even worse, they get tired and only tell you so far. When they buy from you there is more patience because they have invested in you and you are borrowing until you explode or react. They also return because they have no patience and miss everything. you become one more Only the really convinced stay and fight. But it will take time to earn a spot.
Carlos Ascues could not establish himself in Wolfsburg in Germany. Photo: Wolfsburg
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What should change to make the soccer player market in Peru more attractive internationally?
The usual comprehensive training from 12 years and competitive tournaments that last all year round. Not just months. League 2 or 2 should be strengthened or repowered, because not all first-class clubs believe in youngsters. Several have conditions but play little. The clubs do not want to risk betting inexperienced. Also give more power to the Peru Cup. There are players from the national team who came from the Peru Cup and today there are starters like Trauco and Cueva.
A few months ago, a study by the CIES Football Observatory found that Peru only surpasses Bolivia in the number of soccer players exported to South America. So what are the differences when a foreign team is looking for a Venezuelan or Paraguayan soccer player, or a Peruvian one?
There are several factors, but Venezuelans want to emigrate and are preparing to do so, just like Paraguayans. They know that they can position themselves abroad with a sacrifice of two or three years. The average Peruvian soccer player feels very comfortable in Peru, pays very well and only thinks about emigrating when the offer is significantly higher. You just put the batteries in when they are almost 30 years old. Before that, they only think about playing and collecting. It comes down to what everyone really wants. The Peruvian system has to train football players who want glory like Pizarro, Farfán, Guerrero, Alberto Rodríguez, Renato Tapia, among others.