Salvador, Brazil, Jun 19 (EFE).- Brazilian national soccer team players Marquinhos and Alisson praised Peruvian striker Paolo Guerrero on Wednesday, warning that the Canarinha would have to contain him when the squads clash next weekend in a 2019 Copa America Group A match.
The 25-year-old Marquinhos, a defender who played with Guerrero on the Corinthians before joining Paris Saint Germain (PSG), said his former teammate was “a natural finisher” who had to be played carefully and without giving him an edge.
“It’s very hard to defend around Paolo, I’ve played against him and with him, since we were teammates. He’s a very powerful player, likes physical contact, a natural finisher, so we have to be very careful,” Marquinhos said in the wake of Brazil’s disappointing 0-0 tie with Venezuela.
Marquinhos and the 35-year-old Guerrero were teammates starting in 2012, when the Peruvian striker returned to South America from Europe and joined the Corinthians.
At the time, Marquinhos was an 18-year-old defender on the Brazilian club’s roster.
Marquinhos, whose name is Marcos Aoas Corrêa, said it would be special to play at Arena Corinthians, the stadium where he started his professional career, shut out Guerrero and come away with a victory.
“Wearing the Brazilian national team jersey is bigger when you’re playing the Copa at home and, especially for me, doing it at the stadium of the club where I started, that’s very special,” Marquinhos said.
Goalkeeper Alisson Becker, for his part, admitted that while playing for Internacional, Guerrero scored against him for the Corinthians.
“We know what Guerrero is capable of doing, he’s a quality player and knows what it’s about. We know him well,” the 26-year-old goalkeeper, who plays for English Premier League Club Liverpool, said.
“To avoid suffering, you have to set things up well against Peru and not give Guerrero any space,” Alisson said.
Guerrero holds the Peruvian national team’s scoring record, with 37 goals, and nailed a goal in the squad’s 3-1 victory over Bolivia on Tuesday.
In his career, the Peruvian striker has scored 12 goals in the Copa America, a tournament in which he has competed five times.
Brazil and Peru, which are tied with four points apiece in Group A, will play on Saturday. The Brazilians have the edge in the group on goal differential.