Winning the World Cup was always going to be a tough ask for Peru.
Well now it has got even tougher after Paolo Guerrero, arguably Peru’s best player, was suspended for a year by FIFA.
Guerrero has been banned after testing positive for cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine, which falls under WADA’s 2017 Prohibited List.
The 33-year-old Flamengo striker gave a positive test after Peru’s game against Argentina on 5 October 2017.
So just how big a miss will Guerrero be for Peru?
For a start Guerrero is Peru’s all-time top goalscorer with 32 goals in 86 international appearances.
He’s the only Peruvian to make the Ballon d’Or nominees list, which he did in 2015.
Guerrero is also the captain of the Peruvian national team, so coach Ricardo Gareca will have to pick a new player to lead the group in Russia.
Peru have been drawn in a fairly favourable World Cup group, alongside France, Australia and Denmark.
La Blanquirroja will still be positive heading into the tournament, especially with the form of Lokomotiv Moscow winger Jefferson Farfan.
If it helps any Peruvians out there, we know exactly how it feels to head to major tournaments without our best players.
It’s actually a pretty handy excuse when you inevitably get knocked out early.