Veteran Farfan returns to Peru squad for World Cup qualifiers

LIMA, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) — Veteran forward Jefferson Farfan has been recalled to Peru’s squad for FIFA 2022 World Cup South American qualifiers next month, head coach Ricardo Gareca said on Friday.

Farfan, who has 97 Peru caps, has not played for the Blanquirroja since October 2020 because of recurring knee problems. But the 36-year-old has been in impressive form for his club Alianza Lima since returning to action in late August, scoring twice in four matches.

“Jefferson can contribute with his experience and his connection with the national team,” Gareca told reporters.

“He has made great sacrifices to get back on the pitch. I won’t make guarantees that he will start or even be on the bench. But he has a positive impact on his teammates and the most important thing is that he is here.”

Peru will host Chile on Oct. 7 before away clashes against Bolivia and Argentina on Oct. 10 and 14, respectively.

Gareca also recalled midfielder Pedro Aquino and defender Carlos Zambrano in his 30-man provisional squad for the matches.

Peru is currently seventh in the 10-team South American zone standings with eight points from nine games.