England v Peru: 10 things you (possibly) never knew about Peruvian football...

A closer look at England's final opponents before Hodgson's team head across the Atlantic

The Peru team pose for a picture prior to a World Cup qualifier during their failed attempt to qualify for the tournament in Brazil
The Peru team pose for a picture prior to a World Cup qualifier during their failed attempt to qualify for the tournament in Brazil

England play Peru in their final World Cup warm-up match before they head to Miami. Here, we take a closer look at Friday night's opponents...

1. Peru inflicted one of the great shocks in British World Cup history. Scotland went to Argentina in 1978 – “Ally’s Tartan Army” – genuinely expecting to challenge. In their first game, in Cordoba, Joe Jordan put them ahead but Peru equalised, before Teofilo Cubillas scored two great late goals to win it 3-1. Scotland did not make it out of their group.

2. In defence of the Scotland manager, Ally MacLeod, that Peru side of the 1970s was probably their greatest ever team. They reached the quarter-finals of Mexico 1970, losing 4-2 to the eventual winners Brazil, and the second group stage in 1978. Peru won the Copa America in 1975, their second and most recent major trophy.

3. Peru’s exit from the 1978 World Cup – after a 6-0 defeat by Argentina – remains controversial. Genaro Ledesma, a Peruvian senator, said in 2012 that the result was agreed in advance at the behest of Argentine dictator Jorge Videla. The Peru goalkeeper that day, Ramon Quiroga, was born in Rosario, Argentina.

4. Cubillas was the star of that Peru side and he is considered Peru’s greatest player. He was a huge success with Alianza Lima in Peru, coming out of retirement at 38 to play for them for free when 16 players died in a plane crash in 1987.

5. The Peru teams of the 1970s wore one of the classic World Cup kits – a red diagonal sash on a white shirt. Malcolm Allison was so impressed that as manager he introduced a sash kit at Manchester City and then at Crystal Palace.

6. Peru’s most recent export to English football is the trumpet-playing Nolberto Solano, who played 11 seasons in the Premier League, primarily with Newcastle United, after Kenny Dalglish paid Boca Juniors £2.5m for him in 1998. Solano won 95 caps for Peru, and now manages the semi-professional Internacional de Toronto, in League1 Ontario.

7. This is the first game for Peru’s new head coach, Pablo Bengoechea, who took over in March after the departure of his predecessor Sergio Markarian, to whom he was the assistant. Peru never looked like reaching this summer’s World Cup, finishing third-bottom of the Latin American group, 10 points adrift of the qualification and play-off places.

8. Bengoechea has chosen a young squad for his first game, resting their four most famous players, who have little to prove to him. So Peru are without the veteran striker Claudio Pizarro, Fiorentina winger Juan Manuel Vargas, Corinthians’ striker Paolo Guerrero and the Schalke winger Jefferson Farfan, who is also injured.

9. Despite one difficult season in England, Pizarro has been one of South America’s best exports to European football in recent years. He has scored 176 Bundesliga goals, in two spells with Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen. Even at 35 he has just signed on for another year working under Pep Guardiola.

10. Peru’s relative lack of stature among South America’s big football nations is reflected in the club game. No Peruvian team has won the Copa Libertadores. They have reached two finals: Universitario were beaten by Independiente in 1972 and Sporting Cristal – featuring Solano – lost to Cruzeiro in 1997.

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