Peru's coach Ricardo Gareca was interviewed by FIFA and expressed his excitement, as well as thoughts on the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
The following are some of the statements which the Argentina-born man shared with the soccer governing body.
From villain to hero
The coach said that he was constantly reminded of the goal he had scored against Peru at the World Cup Mexico's Qualifiers when he was still an Argentinean national team player. However, following Peru's recent World Cup qualification
, nobody talked about it anymore.
"I just did what I had to do as an Argentina player; it was nothing personal. But anyway, we're through to the World Cup now, so nobody is saying stuff about me owing them anymore! I'm being shown unconditional support and a lot of love," he stressed.
"It was very intense. We knew we had the chance to be the last nation to qualify [...] and we had to seize the opportunity," Gareca
In this sense, he added the Peruvian Soccer Federation played an important role by chartering a plane in order to ease the national team's return to Peru –which enabled them to re-acclimatize and get some rest.
According to the article, Gareca told FIFA there was a sense of gratitude across the Inca nation due to the qualification.
In this sense, Peruvians showed him and the national squad affection. Yet, he acknowledged that not having qualified for the most important soccer event "would've been a big blow."
Key to success
"I'd highlight the fact that Peruvian footballers [soccer players] are technically sound, [physically] strong and adaptable," he expressed.
He went on to add the Peruvian league is played in all possible scenarios such as "at altitude, in hot temperatures and on both natural and artificial pitches. That ability to adapt will undoubtedly work in our favor in Russia."
"I want us to boss matches, whoever and wherever we're playing," the coach pointed out.
Finally, he noted Peru's intention is to give all their best to make fans happy "because they deserve it."
It must be noted the Inca country will return to such important soccer tournament after 36 years.