Jesús Castillo, Ricardo Gareca’s surprise for Peru vs. Panama at the National Stadium

Jesús Castillo made his professional debut in February 2020 against UTC. Photo: FPF.

Ricardo Gareca found his eleven in the peruvian national team to face Panama in the first international friendly prior to the duels of the South American Qualifiers. One of the great surprises is the inclusion of Jesús Castillo as a frontline midfielder. The Sporting Cristal midfielder will be able to show ‘Tigre’ all his virtues and win a space in future calls.

If no emergent situation happens in the next few hours, ‘Junior’ will become the first footballer in the 2001 category to officially add minutes with the ‘bicolor’. The midfielder started in the match against foreigners in League 1 and was one of the most pleasing to the Argentine strategist in the final 2-0 victory with goals from Marcos López and Andy Polo.

The 20-year-old footballer has characteristics similar to those of Renato Tapia and Pedro Aquino such as the security it provides, the brand, the tactical order, the deployment and adds good technique. With Roberto Mosquera he has played as a central midfielder, many times alongside Horacio Calcaterra and with the function of getting between the central defenders when defending. He is 1.85 meters tall and has a great jump, which is why he also usually wins balls from goal kicks.

In the 2021 season he played 36 games between the Opening Tournament, the Closing Tournament, the Bicentennial Cup, the South American Cup and the Libertadores Cup, where he scored a goal. In addition, he was part of the two finals against Alianza Lima for the title of League 1, where the “celestial” ended up losing, but the midfielder had a great participation. On the other hand, he got five yellow cards and one red.

The midfielder made 36 appearances for Sporting Cristal in the 2021 season. Photo: FPF.
The midfielder made 36 appearances for Sporting Cristal in the 2021 season. Photo: FPF.


At just 18 years old, Jesús Castillo debuted in professional Peruvian soccer with Sporting Cristal. It was in the duel against UTC de Cajamarca on February 01, 2020. Roberto Mosquera sent him to the field and since then he gradually joined the starting team, until 2021 he was able to consolidate himself in the middle of the field after the injury of Martin Tavara.


The Peruvian national team and the Panamanian national team will play at the National Stadium and both coaches have their line-ups almost certain for the friendly match. Both Ricardo Gareca and Thomas Christiansen will seek to find many answers for the duels they will have for the South American Qualifiers and Concacaf, respectively.


Peruvian team: Pedro Gallese; Aldo Corzo, Christian Ramos, Alexander Callens, Marcos López; Christofer Gonzáles, Jesús Castillo, Yoshimar Yotún, Andy Polo, Edison Flores; and Alex Valera.

Coach: Ricardo Gareca.

Selection of Panama: Orlando Mosquera; Samir Ramírez, Luis Asprilla, José Matos, Harold Cummings; Armando Cooper, Abdiel Ayarza, Alberto Quintero, Jorge Méndez, Víctor Medina; and Jair Catuy.

Coach: Thomas Christiansen


The match will be broadcast live on Latina Y Movistar Sports from 4:00 pm at the National Stadium. In the case of Panama, the meeting can be followed through the signal of TV MAX Y RPC TV.

Peru vs Panama – Latin (4:00 pm)

Peru vs. Panama – Movistar Sports (4:00 pm)

Perú vs Panamá – RPC TV (4:00 p.m.)

Perú vs Panamá: TV MAX (4:00 p.m.)


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