Would we go this time?
Peru is fighting again for a place in the next football world cup: Brazil 2014. Although being a supporter of the peruvian team is certainly a painful experience, I somehow enjoy the struggle of every single game.
For this qualifiers, we got a great coach, Sergio Markarian. During the 80's and 90's, he was coaching two very popular football clubs in the local tournament. As everyone else in Lima, he was never called by his first name, and people coined different nicknames for him. The most catchy one was "el Mago" (the Magician), earned due to his talent to make obscure footballers play unexpectedly well and win wonderful games.
One of those clubs, Sporting Cristal, reached the final of Libertadores, the most important competition in the region. Cristal released a nice short video, a sort of welcome-back spot. The video shows Markarian after the semifinal against Argentinos Juniors, walking in silence across the empty field, enjoying his victory with just a sharp sight.
Now, el Mago is taking the most difficult job in the south-american qualifiers. The peruvian team plays well only at home, and it is usually a disaster as visitor. Press critics are unnecessary tough; the harsh comments range from his salary income to his personal appeareance. Moreover, there are not enough players to assemble a competitive team. But it has always been like that and the probability of failure is certainly high. On the other hand, what can bring more glory to a coach than succeding in such adverse environment?
I just found an interview of Markarian with Fox Sports, where he gives a 101 lecture about tactics and playing style. It is pretty good. It is splitted in four parts and in spanish.