The Peruvian Waltz Top 50

Top 50 Peruvian U-23 Players: 20-11

  1. Alejandro Duarte

Photo: Twitter @alejoduarte10

Who is Alejandro Duarte?

Durate was born in Munich. He’s 23 years old and has dual nationality: Peruvian and German. So far this year, he has been one of the revelations of the Descentralizado having had great performances versus the big teams with his best being against Alianza Lima and Deportivo Municipal. He currently plays for Universidad San Martin.

Style and Strengths

Alejandro Duarte is 6-foot, which is quite the measurement for a goalkeeper. He’s shown great reflexes in one-versus-one situations and from half-distance. He gives a lot of security holding on to crosses or long balls in the box. His anticipation is good as he seems to know what’s coming.

The weakness is his technical side. He’s not great at kicking but nevertheless, the moment he receives a pass from one of his teammates he doesn’t have many doubts and tries to assist the forwards.


Being at 23, his potential is a bit more cut than the likes of Angel Zamudio, but that doesn’t mean he will be a lesser keeper.

Despite a history of not managing himself in sports well, something that isn’t a great weakness to have in Peru especially at his age, he still has potential to be the next Peruvian No. 1. The spectator will hope that him gaining experience in this league will help his decisions in the future so he can reach the heights he is tipped to reach.

Diego Peralta (@diegoperalta025)

  1. Ray Sandoval

Photo: Libero

Who is Ray Sandoval?

Ray Sandoval was born on February 13th of 1995 in Lima. He was formed at Sporting Cristal and currently still plays for them being one of their key players and top scorers of the side.

He plays on the right wing but is competent anywhere in attacking midfield.

Style and Strengths

Ray Sandoval plays more narrow then normal right wingers, although this isn’t to say he moves to a 10 but rather plays as an inside forward.

Ray Sandoval can be a bit limited. There have been signs of poor decision making or holding the ball for too long.

However, he is an excellent scorer. Not a number 9 but his goalscoring positioning is superb he’s a good finisher as he often finishes his chances.


At 22, he’s not got as much potential as everyone else on this list but he is one of Sporting Cristal’s top players which is obviously no mean feat for a player at 22 years of age.

We could definitely expect Ray Sandoval in the future to be on the National Team, as he’s already gained a few call ups but yet to play.

Brian Bertie (@b_bertie98)

  1. Hideyoshi Arakaki

Photo: Libero

Who is Hideyoshi Arakaki?

Arakaki was born on January 2nd of 1998. At 19 years old, he has year by year done well to consolidate himself as part of the USMP first team and is now an important rotation option for the club.

He hasn’t been part of every youth team but most notably he was part of the 2013 U15 squad that won the Sudamericano in Bolivia. He finished with a goal tally of 3 and formed a good partnership with Luis Iberico who was mentioned earlier on this list. He finished top scorer with 7.

Style and Strengths

Hideyoshi Arakaki is a fast player who can rotate between a number 9 and a winger. While he is originally a striker, he’s been converted to play more out wide and for USMP it’s been working wonders. He’s been impressive most of the time he plays and always creates danger on the right although he can also do a job on the left.

Some of his strengths include his pace. He’s quick but he’s not simply just a fast player like some. He’s more of an inside forward. He does well to cut in and shoot on his side of the pitch. Unpredictable and often composed although still needs some work on his finishing.


It will depend on his next club. He would be a good choice for any club in the country as it stands, but some can stiff his development while it would work wonders at others. His overall potential right now would stand at a player who can definitely have a stint at Europe someday although not for a top club. Rather a club like Alaves, Sampdoria or even Fiorentina.

Brian Bertie (@b_bertie98)

  1. Bryan Reyna

Photo: RCD Mallorca

Who is Bryan Reyna?

Bryan Reyna was born in Callao on August 23, 1999. He was formed at Academia Cantolao although currently plies his trade for Mallorca who play in the third tier of Spanish football.

He was part of the U20 Sudamericano squad in 2017 which was hosted in Ecuador, and he started in most of the games and played 224 games.

Style and Strengths

He’s a very versatile player and can play all sorts of roles. Particularly at the U20 Sudamericano, he played as a 10 and in the enganche role. He was somewhat ineffective though as he’s more natural on the wing. He can rotate between left and right.

Overall, he was wrongly used in the U20 tournament as he’s a player that likes to move forward and get to the box. With his speed, as well as being natural out wide, the enganche role did not suit him.


Bryan Reyna has a huge potential and possibility to get to the Peruvian national team in the future. Taking the same path as Edison Flores and Alexander Callens in Spain, his next path could be returning to Peru and building a home reputation like Flores or staying abroad like Callens.

He would likely need to impress in his division to get another move elsewhere abroad, it would be a much easier choice to return to Peru especially seeing as Cantolao are now in the Primera and would likely welcome him back with open arms.

Brian Bertie (@b_bertie98)

  1. Gianfranco Chavez

Photo: LaNueve

Who is Gianfranco Chavez?

He may be 19 years of age, but Gianfranco Chavez is one of Peru’s most-promising defenders in recent memory.

The Sporting Cristal man started all four of Peru’s matches at the U-20 Sudamericano this past winter, though he has not featured in the Descentralizado.

Chavez only turned 19 in August, but has lacked minutes at club level. He is primarily a right-back, although he started a match as a centre-back at the Sudamericano.

Unfortunately for the youngster, he has only made one appearance for Sporting Cristal in 2017, a 26-minute cameo against Alianza Atletico in April. He does play regularly with the reserves, though.

Style and Strengths

Chavez’s dribbling, passing and overall composure on the ball work in his favour. However, he can also read the game very well and is usually found in the right position. That is why he can transition from the right to the centre of the defence.


That positional flexibility gives Chavez a brighter future than most defenders in the top 50. He just needs to push for minutes in the Descentralizado, but it won’t be easy. His namesake, Edinson Chavez, has solidified a role on the right side of the backline. At 23, he has the edge over Gianfranco.

At this point in time, the younger Chavez may have to look elsewhere if he wants to start for a top-tier club in Peru. If that occurs and he plays consistently, then Peru may have their next starting defender for the national team.

Peter Galindo (@GalindoPW)

  1. Jose Bolivar

Photo: FutbolDeMenores

Who is Jose Bolivar?

Jose Bolivar is another player who was born in Pisco. He was born in the 17th of January, 2000. He was formed in Universidad San Martin and is still at the club, having played in the Primera Division a few times already.

He was nominated as one of the best players in the Copa Federacion in the Noche de Estrellas in 2013 and stopped playing the tournament early due to how impressive he was. He was promoted to the first team and now rotates between reserves and Primera.

Style and Strengths

Bolívar is a speedy striker who looks to beat the offside trap and score. He’s what can be classed as a poacher. He needs a lot of support from his teammates to get through balls

This isn’t to say he’s not good on the ball though. On the contrary, he’s quite good on and off it. Of course, he’s good at getting into goalscoring positions but his dribbling is very decent for his age.


He only played in the U17 championship this year in Chile and he’s got a huge potential, however his place in the national team will hugely depend on what system is going to be played in the future. Whether it’s with a typical Peru #9 like Paolo Guerrero or if its going to be a goalscoring striker like Raul Ruidiaz.

We can at the very least expect him in the next U20 championship in 2019. Jose Bolivar is an exciting player who should also become good enough to go abroad.

Brian Bertie (@b_bertie98)

  1. Christopher Olivares

Photo: LaNueve

Who is Christopher Olivares?

Christopher Olivares is an 18 year old striker born on April 3rd, 1999. He is currently playing for Sporting Cristal although was formed at Esther Grande Bentín, the same academy that Renato Tapia, Andre Carrillo and Pier Larrauri went through.

He’s already made his debut in the Primera and scored on his first start away to Union Comercio in a 2-2 draw.

It should also be mentioned that he is the son of Percy Olivares, a former Peruvian national team left back.

Style and Strengths

Christopher Olivares is closer to your Peru number 9 than Jose Bolivar, but he’s also not exactly that. He’s a bit of a false 9. He attracts the opposing defenders and creates space for the attackers to make a run. He plays a bit deeper than your typical striker. He certainly has potential to become complete.

He’s excellent when he needs to get in position whether it has to do with creating space or receiving the end of a cross or a through ball. He can be mix of a poacher and a false 9. His heading ability has not been properly tested in Primera and his first touch has been poor, but it could be a case of being nervous on his debut or just not being used to the less time you are given on the ball. In the Copa Mitad del Mundo, he played as a poacher.


Christopher Olivares has potential to perhaps be Peru’s next #9. He is one to watch out for in the future as we could very easily see him go abroad to a top league and play for the national team.

Of course, at his age there are many things that can go wrong or right, but if he makes proper career choices as well as remains disciplined, then there is no doubt he can become among one of the top players in Peru.

Brian Bertie (@b_bertie98)

  1. Wilder Cartagena

Photo: USI

Who is Wilder Cartagena?

Wilder Cartagena was born on September 23rd of 1994 in Chincha which is the province in the north of the Ica department. He was formed at Alianza Lima as were most other players from Chincha or Pisco.

He was part of the Peru squad in the U20 Sudamericano disputed in Argentina in 2013, which was the most successful Peruvian under 20 side in recent ages due to how many players are in the Peruvian national team now, and Cartagena is no exception to that. He made his debut in Quito away to Ecuador in a 2-1 win for the Peruvian national team in September.

Style and Strengths

Wilder Cartagena possesses a very similar style to Renato Tapia. He has defensive and offensive aspects. He usually covers a good distance of the pitch at the end of the game and can be seen as a box to box midfielder or a solid holding player with offensive elements.

He’s quite good on the tackle and has a pretty good vision of where his teammates are. Those are the 2 main strengths, but that’s not to forget how much of a runner he is. He tries to be wherever the play is whether is in the offence or trying to get the ball away from danger.


This is the point of the list where the 23 year olds still have a huge potential. He’s already played in Europe for Vitoria Setubal and should he impress for Peru he’ll definitely get another shot to go abroad. Wilder Cartagena has a big potential and he can definitely reach the level to cut it in a decent European league some day.

Brian Bertie (@b_bertie98)

  1. Alex Succar

Photo: El Bocon

Who is Alex Succar?

Developed at Cantolao, Succar joined Sporting Cristal and nearly moved to Gremio when he was 19, but document issues prevented the move from happening.

The forward eventually landed at Cienciano before moving to Universidad San Martin in 2016 before his breakthrough 2017 campaign.

Succar represented Peru’s U-18 and U-20 sides. He also received his first senior call-up in June and made his debut against Paraguay that same month.

He may not have the same career path as Paolo Guerrero, but Alex Succar has the attributes to become Peru’s next No. 9.

The 22-year-old forward has turned heads in 2017. Even though his recent form has been underwhelming, there is plenty of excitement over Succar’s future.

Style and Strengths

Guerrero comparisons are being made and while there are similarities in their game, Succar does not possess the same overall quality as Guerrero, which led to a move to Bayern Munich as a teenager.

Nonetheless, Succar’s work rate, strength and composure in front of goal are all attributes that prototypical Peruvian strikers are supposed to boast.


Succar’s 2017 began fantastically with seven goals ahead of Peru’s friendlies in June. However, his performance levels drastically declined after he received the call-up.

The Lima-born striker has recently improved and it is his first proper campaign with the spotlight on him. If he recovers

Peter Galindo (@GalindoPW)

  1. Sergio Peña

Photo: Libero

Who is Sergio Peña?

Sergio Peña Flores was born in Lima and is 21 years old.

He was formed at Alianza Lima. He moved to Granada CF, his current club at only 17 years old where he took part in the B team although had 2 loan spells at Alianza Lima (2015) and USMP (2016).

Sergio Peña currently finds himself back in Spain, and he’s beginning to gather some playing time. He plays as central midfielder.

Style and Strengths

In most of the Segunda Division games he’s participated in, he demonstrated a large amount of passes played on the ground which is one of his main strengths like a traditional Peruvian Player.

He’s not bad with the long ball either and this was something he showed during his loan spells back at the Peruvian league. He’s a player who always keeps the ball on his feet with short dribbles and quick decisions at the time to distribute the ball to someone else.


In 2017, he’s played a total of 16 games and scored 4 goals, summing up to a total of 1400 minutes on the pitch. Ricardo Gareca has Sergio Peña as part of the national team due to the potential he holds for the future. He’s letting him be a part of the setup so he can become familiar with the team for his development. He has occasionally come in for the national team as a substitute and its clear Ricardo Gareca himself has faith that he’ll become an important part of the national team.

Diego Peralta (@diegoperalta025)

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