Paolo Guerrero Leadership Makes Perú Look Superb

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Peru's forward Paolo Guerrero (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's third goal during an international friendly football match Saudi Arabia vs Peru at Kybunpark stadium in St. Gallen, on June 3, 2018. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Editorial (June 8, 2018) – Peruvian striker Paolo Guerrero has returned to the pitch after his temporary ban and he will captain his National Team in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, beginning next week.

The 34-year-old player received a ban on October 5, 2017, for failing a doping test before a match against Argentina in the CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying.

Paolo Guerrero Leadership Makes Perú Look Superb

But now Guerrero has rejoined the squad, and he scored twice in the 3-0 win over Saudi Arabia in a friendly this month to elevate Perú’s hopes in the World Cup.

Background

Guerrero tested positive for Benzoylecgonine, which kept him away from the soccer field for almost a year.

Last year in October the Flamengo striker was suspended for six months, but he appealed the FIFA committee and alleged he only drank tea.

Initially, his ban would be over before the World Cup, but another judgment by the CAS on May 14 this year sentenced Guerrero to a 12-month ban.

So how is Guerrero going to Russia?

On May 31, 2018, the CAS agreed to give the ban an appeal by the Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT). Then the SFT announced that a stay of the ban was appropriated during the appeal.

That’s how Guerrero, the all-time leading goalscorer of Perú, is eligible to play at Russia and he will have his first experience in a World Cup.

The ban still remains on Guerrero and the SFT could determine a 14-month after they lift the stay. Yet, though, a team in the World Cup cannot appeal if Guerrero scores due the SFT and the CAS agreed to stay his ban.

Perú looks outstanding

Now that Guerrero has returned, the squad seems more comfortable with his undeniable captain and main leader. Perú’s last World Cup appearance was in 1992 in Spain. That’s the reason the whole country will come to a standstill as soon as the Peruvian team enters to the pitch.

The South Americans ended fifth in the CONMEBOL qualifying and clinched its spot to Russia by beating New Zealand in the Inter-confederation playoff series.

Pero has outscored opponents 10-1 in their last four friendly matches, all of them were victories and three of those wins were against World Cup teams – Croatia, Iceland, Saudi Arabia- Perú could face any of them again in Russia.

Perú also has an unbeaten run for almost two years. They haven’t lost a match since November 15, 2016, against Brazil (0-2) and it is their longest streak without lose.

Since then, they have a 14 undefeated games with 10 triumph and 4 draws. That is the third best current unbeaten mark. Spain has 19 while Belgium and Morocco both has 16 games without a fail.

They will play Sweden on June 9 in their last game before the World Cup to keep the streak alive. The Peruvians are not a primary candidate to lift the World Cup trophy on July 15, but they can do a good run and even reach the Round of 16.

Perú will face off against France, Denmark and Australia in the World Cup.

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