From Peru with love

  • Peru’s 40,000-strong army of fans lit up Russia 2018 with their passionate support
  • Their vibrant and colourful showing won the hearts of locals and rival fans alike
  • Among the three nominees for the FIFA Fan Award 2018

A triunfar peruanos
Que somos hermanos
Que se haga victoria nuestra gran gratitud
Te daré la vida y cuando yo muera
¡Me uniré en la tierra contigo Perú!

When he was commissioned to write Contigo Perú (With you, Peru) in 1977, the Peruvian composer Augusto Polo Campos could not have imagined that 41 years later legions of his compatriots would sing it tearfully and at the top of their voices in the football stadiums of Russia.

Widely regarded by Peruvians as their second national anthem, that song of eternal devotion to their homeland rang loud and clear in Saransk, Ekaterinburg and Sochi at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. In the process it came to symbolise the incredibly passionate support of the Blanquirroja fans, who have been shortlisted for the FIFA Fan Award 2018.

Sadly for them, Ricardo Gareca’s team were unable to advance beyond the group phase. Such was the quality of their football, that they deserved a better fate, though no one was more deserving than the army of Peruvian fans who cheered them on. There were 40,000 of them in the stands and many more in the streets, and they earned the admiration of locals and rival fans alike for their passion, vibrancy and determination to enjoy themselves.

They began their showstopping spectacle at their side’s opening match, against Denmark, turning the stands of the Mordovia Arena into an extension of Lima, Cusco and Arequipa with their national team shirts, red and white adornments, and traditional Incan attire. All that was missing were the snacks that go on sale for Peru’s home games at Lima’s Estadio Nacional: pulled chicken, chorizo sandwiches, and grilled beef hearts.