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Peru: Markarián Hired to Lead National Football Team

Peruvians have not seen its national football team participate in a FIFA World Cup for the past 28 years. The team ended up as the last South American team during the qualifying rounds for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. In early July, the Peruvian Football Federation announced that Uruguayan Sergio Markarián has been appointed as the new coach. Peruvian bloggers react to the news of the man chosen to reverse the fortunes of the squad that had faced plenty of controversy in recent times.

Blogger Luis Vigil Dávila, from the blog Mejor Hablar de Ciertas Cosas [es] [It's Better to Talk about Certain Things], wrote about the coach's experience:

Como se recuerda, el popular ‘Mago’, que ya dirigió a Universitario y a Sporting Cristal, club que sacó subcampeonato de la Copa Libertadores en 1997, siempre estuvo en la mira de la FPF para reemplazar en el cargo de seleccionador a José del Solar.

As you may recall, the popular ‘Mago’ [The Magician], who already coached Universitario [Football Club] and Sporting Cristal [Football Club], with the latter as losing finalist in 1997 Libertators Cup, has always been a target of the Federation to replace manager José del Solar.

The blog Fútbol peruano – Fulbito y Fulvaso, whose author defines himself as a “common football fan who doesn't need to be an expert”, expresses [es] the ultimate hope every Peruvian football fan has with Markarián's appointment:

El flamante entrenador de la selección peruana de fútbol, Sergio Markarián, expresó que hará todos los esfuerzos por clasificar a Perú al Mundial Brasil 2014 y añadió que su deseo es que ese logro se convierta en el mejor trabajo de toda su carrera deportiva.

The brand new coach of Peruvian national football team, Sergio Markarian, expressed that he'll do his best in order to get Peru qualified for FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 and added that he wishes this accomplishment becomes the best result of his entire sporting career.

However, Markarian cannot accomplish the goal by himself, and he will have to count on the participation of the Peruvian players. He'll get his first chance on September 4th when the team faces Canada in a friendly match. The blog Otras Tardes [es] published the names of the players that Markarian has recalled for the game. From the group blog Alianza Lima Corazón [es], refers to the “foreign” players, which are the Peruvians who play abroad for international clubs:

El “Mago” expresó su entusiasmo por empezar a entrenar con la selección. “No quiero esperar más, quiero empezar con los jugadores que más o menos he visto y el tiempo lo dirá”. Markarián señaló que no se puede contar con los extranjeros en los entrenamientos. “En la tercera convocatoria recién vamos a contar con los extranjeros”, añadió.

The “Mago” expresses his eagerness for getting started with the national team. “I can't wait any longer, I want to get started with the players I've seen and time will tell”. Markarián said he cannot count on the foreigners for the training. “On the third convocation, we'll have the foreigners,” he added.

Whenever a new coach is hired to lead a national side, it is inevitable the question about his wages will come up. Martín Beas Nuñez of the blog Pregunta [es] asks “why is Sergio Markarián going to earn US$760,000 a year?,” and readers answer:

Entiendo que el futbol sea un ambiente, donde las cifras de dinero son extraorbitantes, pero llendo (sic) más alla de eso, si la FPF le paga el sueldo a Sergio Markarian, quién aprueba este salario TAN SALIDO de nuestra REALIDAD ? (Si los impuestos de los peruanos no le pagan el sueldo, aún asi no estamos exagerando un poco ? )

I understand that football may be a field where the amounts of money are exorbitant, but going a little further, if FPF (Peruvian Football Federation) is paying Sergio Markarian's wages, who is approving that salary which is SO FAR AWAY from our REALITY? (Even if Peruvians’ taxes aren't paying for his wages, still aren't we kind of going overboard?)

With the amount of money being spent on Markarián, many believe that there will be high expectations. Javier Paredes (@javierparedes) has some realistic ones:

Mucha adulacion a Markarian, no quiero ni imaginarme q dira la prensa cuando Peru pierda 3 partidos seguidos

There is a lot of adulation for Markarian, I don't want to even imagine what the media will say when Peru loses 3 games in a row.

All in all, Peruvian football fans have great expectations with Sergio Markarian as the national team coach. Only time will tell whether this Uruguayan can be as magical as his nickname suggests.

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