Remembering Daniel Peredo, the Peruvian Commentator Who’ll Be in Our Hearts This World Cup

Peru's players pose for a photo before a match between Brazil and Peru as part of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifiers. Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

“Yo no transmito partidos, yo transmito emociones.”

Simply translated: “I don’t broadcast games, I broadcast emotions.” Those are the words of the late Daniel Peredo, one of Peru’s most beloved sports journalists. He delivered powerful commentary – not only because he managed to captivate an entire nation with each and every syllable during a 90-minute match, but because he articulated the pain and hope every fan felt. In that same interview with the Peruvian channel Canal N, he explained what made him so successful: “I try to make people feel the emotions that I feel while watching a soccer match.”

This week, the Peruvian national team paid tribute to Peredo during halftime at the Estadio Nacional in Lima during a friendly against Scotland. It also recently released a moving commercial that featured Peredo’s familiar voice and hit fans in the feels.

Peredo, known as “the voice of the Blanquirroja,” provided play-by-play broadcasts on Movistar Deportes – formerly known as Cable Mágico Deportes. With iconic phrases like “Gloria a Perú en las alturas” and “¡Jefferson Augustín Farfán Guadalupe, por su mamacita!,” Peredo narrated the national team’s highs and lows (and let’s be honest, there were a ton of lows) in a 20-year sports career and took fans along for the emotional ride.

From friendlies to World Cup qualifiers, the commentator kept fans on the edge of their seats and despite coming in dead last at the end of the 2010 qualifiers, one of his most memorable broadcasts came during a game against Argentina in 2008. Then-players Juan Manuel Vargas and Johan Fano were the epitome of teamwork and Fano scored a goal in the 93rd minute, resulting in a tie and causing fans and Peredo to lose it.

“I never thought that the broadcast would have that much impact. I don’t remember the exact narration, but people on the street recite it back to me word by word,” Peredo told El Comercio.

A decade later, nothing compared to the pure joy and continued hope heard in his voice moments after the whistle blew and Peru officially took the final spot in the World Cup this past November. It was the end of the second playoff game against New Zealand.

“¡Hoy, 15 de noviembre del 2017, quedará como el día mundial del hincha peruano! ¡Abrácense, celebren, destapen, marquen en los calendarios! ¡Abrácense en las calles!,” Peredo yelled on air. Today is a day for the Peruvian fans, he said. Hug each other, celebrate and mark your calendars!

“¡Hoy es nuestro día! ¡Algún día tenía que ser! ¡No hay mal que dure 36 años ni fútbol peruano que lo resista! ¡Vamos al mundial! ¡Arriba Perú!” Today is our day, it had to be one day, he said, pointing his words at every single fan who, like him, also believed.

Peredo died of a heart attack in February, months after narrating Peru’s triumphant return to the World Cup after 36 years. He was 48 years old. On the day in November that sent Peru to the prestigious tournament, the magazine Somos released an interview with the Peruvian broadcaster. He was asked to described his perfect happiness. “To tell Peru’s story during a World Cup,” he answered.

So I’ll leave you with this ode to Peredo, one of the many videos shared on social media dedicated to the broadcaster and the tribute played during halftime at Tuesday’s friendly against Scotland. The footage was part of a larger campaign for the World Cup, and the journalist’s take was isolated for this homage.

Daniel Peredo

Hoy se cumple un mes de la partida de nuestra voz. Va este homenaje para ti al cielo. ¡Tu voz no se apagará, Daniel!FPF agradece a la corporación Contigo Perú por ceder los derechos de esta canción para este homenaje.

Posted by Selección Peruana – FPF on Monday, March 19, 2018

As soon as Óscar Avilés’ iconic guitar starts strumming the beginning of “Contigo Perú,” a song written by Augusto Polo Campos for the Peruvian national team as motivation for the 1978 World Cup, Peredo is seen wearing a white shirt with the iconic red sash. He sings along with the legendary voice of Arturo Cavero. The lyrics are a love song to the Andean nation and there’s a perfectly poetic line that closes out the song: “Te daré la vida y cuando yo muera, me uniré en la tierra contigo, Perú.” Loosely translated, it says – when I die, I’ll be one with you, Peru.

The passion in Peredo’s voice will be missed every time there’s a gol peruano, especially in June. But like the video says, “Daniel, your voice wasn’t silenced, it became eternal.”