The Historical Archive of El Comercio saved these photos of Diego Maradona during his visit to Lima for the 1986 Mexico Qualifiers, where he established himself as world champion and He had a stellar performance against England in the quarterfinals, scoring two goals that today, June 22, are anniversary and that have transcended in the history of football.
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Inside the Country Club, in the heart of San Isidro, an improvised boxing ring is set up. Leo Rojas puts on the gloves, Julio César Uribe squares himself in the other corner and Juan Carlos Oblitas separates both in the middle as referee of the fight. In a few hours, the Peruvian team will face Argentina of Diego Maradona and Carlos Salvador Bilardo, but in the concentration the only thing that matters is not to give low blows. The fight begins and Roberto Chale, coach of the team, does not stop applauding and laughing. The rest of the squad accompanies giving cheers to calm things down. The handshake at the end between the red and white boxers only demonstrates the group's unity. At night, if necessary, the entire team performs at a Café Concert in Miraflores, where an Argentine vedette will give a show. And later, the cold morning in Lima ends with a scene that sets fire to the day that Luis Reyna will have.
-Are you okay, Lucho?
-Yes, doc. All good.
-You were able to sleep well.
-Like a stone, doc. (*)
The 'doc' is Jorge Alva, doctor of the Peruvian team. The moment happens in the corridors of the club, that he has received the entertainment of an exclusive wedding. 'Like a stone' means that 'Cachete' Reyna has not stopped thinking about the King. The King is Maradona and today at the National Stadium in Lima he will see his monarchy succumb.
Peru-Argentina in 1985 has been portrayed in reports, books and documentaries. It has a thousand versions and only one truth. After Moisés Barack was removed from office, Roberto Chale accepted the position of technical director due to the refusal of Marcos Calderón and the urgency of the Federation for not hiring José Fernández Santini.
The 'Terrible Child' put his cunning on the line with the riskiest move of the time: nullifying Maradona. In those same Qualifiers, attempts were made to stop Diego in Venezuela and Colombia without success. What Peru did was not about secret weapons or state conspiracies. Chale intuited, Reyna acted, and after 35 years we bring the proof that that afternoon at the José Díaz it was the whole team that put its shoulder to contain the best player of the moment.