Questions mount in case of Peruvian soccer player’s identity

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>The case of Peruvian soccer player Max Barrios continues to get stranger, as more details of his life come to light.

Barrios, a member of Peru’s under-20 national soccer team, came to the national spotlight after he was >accused of being a 25-year-old Ecuadorian national.

Now local media have begun to piece together what is known about Barrios, and his past.

According to El Comercio, before Barrios started to play for the Juan Aurich football club, he was virtually unknown, and had no records of having played for any other team. His father, Angel Barrios, claimed the young Barrios had trained at his soccer academy.

After the country´s U-20 team played Ecuador, a legislator from the northern country accused Barrios of being 25-year-old Juan Carlos Espinoza Mercado, an Ecuadorian-born citizen who played in the country’s Liga de Loja soccer club.

Following the allegations, his father confirmed Barrios was born in Ecuador, but did not comment on his age.

Barrios, El Comercio reported, obtained his Peruvian birth certificate and ID, in January 2012.

Additionally, his other brother, 19-year-old Luis Barrios, is also accused of lying about his age, and is thought to 30 years old.

According to the daily the case is still under investigation. If found guilty, Barrios and his father could serve 10 years in jail for identity fraud.

Update 8:35 p.m.:
Peru’s National Identification Registry (Reniec), has announced it has annulled Barrios’ ID and birth certificate, after confirming he had given false information.

The case of Peruvian soccer player Max Barrios continues to get stranger, as more details of his life come to light.

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