|Uruguayan coach Sergio Markarián is the architect of Peru’s soccer team new-found stability. (Photo: RPP)|
Peru is on the mend, slowly but surely regaining the stature they enjoyed in the days when they made formidable opponents for even South America’s strongest sides.
The Peruvians’ ultimate goal is to return to the FIFA World Cup finals for the first time since Spain 1982, and as their rise of nine places to 59th in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking shows, they are on the right track.
Back in the top 60 again after a three-month absence, "La Blanquirroja" recorded the highest rise of the month among South America’s ten national teams.
A major reason for that is the 384.9 points they collected in winning 1-0 in Panama on 9 February, the only goal of the game coming from Orlando Contreras. That victory on the road took them up to eighth in the CONMEBOL rankings, ahead of Bolivia in 97th and Venezuela in 63rd.
That position is still a modest one, however, and is some way short of Peru’s all-time high of 34th, attained in September 1997.
On the positive side though, this is the first time since November that "Los Rojiblancos" have had two of their continental rivals below them, a distinct improvement on the situation a year ago, when they were bottom of the pile.
All eyes on Brazil 2014
One of the architects of Peru’s new-found stability is their Uruguayan coach Sergio Markarián, who came into the job in July 2010.
Interviewed exclusively by FIFA.com a few months later, Markarián outlined his revival masterplan: “We came into the role with an ambitious plan that featured very clear goals: observe and follow domestic-based players; meet up with coaches; hold training camps even outside of FIFA-stipulated dates; visit our European-based players; and have meetings with football administrators, state representatives and private firms to secure support for the sport. We’ve managed to do all of that!”
Read the complete article in the FIFA’s website.