Elda Cantú is a Mexican journalist and editor living in Lima, Peru. She teaches politics and international relations at the Universidad ESAN. (June 2018)

Follow Elda Cantú on Twitter: @ eldacantu.

NYR DAILY

World Cup 2018: Peru’s Permission to Dream

Danish players congratulating each other and Peru’s star forward Paolo Guerrero covering his face with his shirt as Peru lost 0-1 to Denmark in Saransk, Russia, June 16, 2018

The last time this country had cheered for la Blanquirroja, as the national side is known, in a World Cup was in 1982. One third of Peruvians had not even been born then, but they all remember that the last time had been a catastrophe. “The Peruvian defeat hurts again because, once more, the syndromes that disconcert and plague us appear: it seems that the Peruvian players have no soul, no testicles or blood,” wrote the sociologist and writer Abelardo Sánchez León at the time. “We can’t continue accepting that this way of playing football corresponds to the idiosyncrasy of our people.”