The 10 Best Peruvian Players in History

Best Peruvian Players in History: Peru is a country that loves soccer, and its fans are known worldwide for their passion. Despite being often underestimated, the Peruvian team has a strong historical presence in CONMEBOL competitions.

Thanks to two outstanding generations of players, Peru has been able to excel in continental competitions, but they have struggled to replicate that success in the World Cup. Until recently, Peru had missed several editions of the tournament.

However, under the good management of Ricardo Gareca and the presence of world-class players, the team has raised its level. Peru has become a formidable opponent, as evidenced by their recent strong performances in the Copa América.

The current generation of players aims to reclaim the greatness they achieved in previous decades when Peru won the Copa América twice (in 1939 and 1975).

In the last three editions of the Copa América (excluding the Copa América Centenario), the Peruvian team has reached the podium, surpassing high-level teams. Their greatest achievement was being the runner-up in 2019, along with winning bronze medals in 2011 and 2015.

Best Peruvian Players in History

Considering all this, it is important to review the careers of 10 players who have made significant contributions to the history of the Peruvian team. This will help determine the best players in the history of Peruvian football, a topic that always sparks lively debates.

10. Roberto Palacios

  • Full Name: Roberto Carlos Palacios Mestas
  • Date of Birth: December 28, 1972
  • Height: 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
  • Position(s): Midfielder

The player who tops our ranking of the best Peruvian players in history is Roberto Palacios. Palacios was a midfielder and widely regarded as one of the greatest Peruvian players.

His remarkable talent and skill made him an integral part of the Peruvian national team, earning him a total of 128 appearances and scoring 19 goals.

With these figures, Roberto Palacios holds the record for the most appearances in the history of the Peruvian team. Additionally, he is revered as an idol and a reference for the Sporting Cristal club, where he won five local league titles, further cementing his status as a legendary figure.

Statistics With Peru:

CareerAppearanceGoals
1992–201212819

Honours With Peru:

CompetitionResult
Kirin Cup1999

9. Cesar Cueto

  • Full Name: César Augusto Cueto Villa
  • Date of Birth: 16 June 1952 (age 70)
  • Height: 1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)
  • Position(s): Midfielder

In ninth place on our ranking is César Cueto, one of the finest left-footed players in the history of Peruvian soccer. Cueto was an attacking midfielder known for his incredible technical skills and had an unparalleled left leg in his country.

His remarkable talent allowed him to shine in every club he played for. Cueto was also a member of the Peruvian national team that achieved victory in the 1975 Copa América. He was also part of the iconic Peruvian team that reached the quarterfinals of the 1978 World Cup.

His exceptional abilities on the field earned him the nickname “The Left-Handed Poet” because every pass or shot he made with his left leg was considered a work of art worthy of being displayed in an art gallery.

Statistics With Peru:

CareerAppearanceGoals
1972–1985516

8. Jose Velasquez

  • Full Name: José Manuel Velásquez Castillo
  • Date of Birth: 4 June 1952 (age 70)
  • Height: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
  • Position(s): Defensive Midfielder

In our ranking, the eighth position is given to José Velásquez, a famous defensive midfielder. He gained worldwide recognition for his exceptional defensive skills and his ability to lead the team from the midfield.

During the 70s and 80s, he was regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world.

At the national team level, José Velásquez is well remembered for being part of the Peruvian team that won the Copa América in 1975. He also played a crucial role in one of the greatest Peruvian teams in World Cup history.

Statistics With Peru:

CareerAppearanceGoals
1972–19858212

Honours With Peru:

CompetitionResult
Copa América1975

7. Juan Valdivieso

  • Full Name: Juan Humberto Valdivieso Padilla
  • Date of Birth: May 6, 1910
  • Height: 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
  • Position(s): Goalkeeper or forward

In seventh place on our ranking is Juan Valdivieso, one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of Peruvian soccer. Valdivieso made a name for himself primarily at Alianza Lima, one of the most successful clubs in Peru, where he achieved legendary status and won five consecutive first-division tournaments.

However, Valdivieso’s achievements were not limited to his club’s success.

He was also part of the Peruvian national team that triumphed in the 1939 Copa América, marking a historic moment in Peru’s football history. Valdivieso played a vital role in the team’s success and contributed significantly to their achievement.

Statistics With Peru:

CareerAppearanceGoals
1930–1938100

6. Hector Chumpitaz

  • Full Name: Héctor Eduardo Chumpitaz González
  • Date of Birth: April 12, 1943 (age 80)
  • Height: 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
  • Position(s): Centre back

In sixth place on our ranking is Héctor Chumpitaz, a legendary defender and the player with the second-highest number of appearances in the history of the Peruvian national team. Chumpitaz represented Peru 105 times and was widely regarded as one of the best defenders not only in Peru but also in South America.

Known for his defensive solidity, imposing presence, and exceptional leadership skills, Chumpitaz was one of the most remarkable players in Peru during the 1960s and 1970s.

He played a vital role in Peru’s triumph in the 1975 Copa América, showcasing his skills and contributing significantly to the team’s success.

Statistics With Peru:

CareerAppearanceGoals
1965–19811053

Honours With Peru:

CompetitionResult
Copa América1975

5. Teodoro Fernandez

  • Full Name: Teodoro Fernández Meyzán
  • Date of Birth: 20 May 1913
  • Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
  • Position(s): Forward

In fifth place on our ranking is Teodoro Fernández, one of the most prolific goal scorers in the history of Peruvian football. Fernández is primarily known for his impressive performances with Club Universitario de Deportes, where he spent his entire career.

Although his international career was relatively brief, he made a significant impact. Fernández scored 26 goals in 81 games for the Peruvian national team, making him the fourth-highest goal scorer in the country’s history.

In addition to his club achievements, Fernández played a crucial role in Peru’s triumph in the 1939 Copa América, showcasing his skills and contributing to his team’s success.

Statistics With Peru:

CareerAppearanceGoals
1968–19828126

Honours With Peru:

SeasonResult
1938 Bolivarian Games
1939 South American Championship

4. Paolo Guerrero

  • Full Name: José Paolo Guerrero Gonzales
  • Date of Birth: 1 January 1984 (age 39)
  • Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
  • Position(s): Striker

In the fourth position of our ranking, we have Paolo Guerrero, who is currently the only active player on the list. Guerrero is a striker who has become the central figure for the Peruvian national team in their pursuit to regain their past glory. Through his goals, sacrifices, and leadership, he has made Peru a strong contender in matches.

Guerrero can be described as a dedicated striker who puts his heart into every game and naturally takes charge of his team. He holds the record for the most goals scored for the Peruvian national team (39 goals) and has received numerous individual awards for his scoring abilities in Peru’s recent efforts to conquer the Americas.

Even if the Peruvian team doesn’t win a title before Guerrero retires, his significant contributions in leading the team towards success will always be remembered in history.

Statistics With Peru:

CareerAppearanceGoals
2004– 10738

Honours With Peru:

CompetitionResult
Copa América Silver Medallist 1920
Copa Américathird-place: 2011, 2015

3. Hugo Sotil

  • Full Name: Hugo Alejandro Sotil Yerén
  • Date of Birth: 18 May 1949 (age 73)
  • Height: 1.69 m (5ft 7 in)
  • Position(s): Striker

In our player ranking, the third position is occupied by Hugo Sotil, a legendary Peruvian striker who gained fame during his time at FC Barcelona, where he won the local title, La Liga. However, Sotil’s contributions extend beyond this achievement.

Sotil had an impressive career at the national level, playing for clubs like Deportivo Municipal and Alianza Lima, as well as internationally with Deportivo Independiente Medellín.

As expected, Sotil was also a member of the Peruvian national team that won the Copa América title in 1975, where he played a crucial role in the renowned red and white team. He is also the eighth highest goal scorer in the history of Peru, having scored 18 goals in 62 games.

Statistics With Peru:

CareerAppearanceGoals
1970–19786218

Honours With Peru:

CompetitionResult
Winner1975

2. Claudio Pizarro

  • Full Name: Claudio Miguel Pizarro Bosio
  • Date of Birth: 3 October 1978 (age 44)
  • Height: 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
  • Position(s): Striker

In our ranking, the second spot goes to Claudio Pizarro, who is often seen as the most successful Peruvian player in Europe because of his goals, personality, and talent.

Pizarro is a well-known striker and is the fifth-highest goal-scorer for the Peruvian national team, with 20 goals. Unfortunately, he didn’t win any championships with the national team, although they achieved a third-place finish in the 2015 Copa América in Chile.

However, Pizarro’s impact was most notable in Germany. He is considered a legend in the country because of his impressive accomplishments. He holds the record for the most titles won by a foreign player in Bayern München, is the leading scorer of all time for Werder Bremen, and ranks among the top goal-scorers in the history of the Bundesliga League.

Statistics With Peru:

CareerAppearanceGoals
1999–20168520

1. Teófilo Cubillas

  • Full Name: Teófilo Juan Cubillas Arizaga
  • Date of Birth: 8 March 1949 (age 74)
  • Height: 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
  • Position(s): Attacking midfielder

Teófilo Cubillas is known as the greatest soccer player in the history of Peru. He was an incredible striker who scored 26 goals in 81 games for the Peruvian national team, making him the third-highest scorer. He played a crucial role in Peru’s successful team that won the Copa América in 1975 and had a big impact on their World Cup campaigns.

Cubillas received individual recognition for his performances. In the 1970 World Cup, he was chosen as the best young player and won the bronze boot for being the third-highest scorer. In the 1978 World Cup, he was selected for the tournament’s all-star team and won the silver boot.

Considering his impressive performances in the World Cups and his goal-scoring record, Cubillas is seen as the best player in the history of Peru. In today’s soccer world, he is widely regarded as the greatest Peruvian player.

Statistics With Peru:

CareerAppearanceGoals
1968–19828126

Honours With Peru:

CompetitionResult
Copa América1975

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