Peru’s Hat-Trick Man Seeks To Emulate And Honor His Uncle

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SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Paolo Guerrero, Peru’s hat-trick scorer in their quarter-final win over Bolivia on Thursday, was only three years old when his uncle, a Copa America winner in 1975, died in one of Peruvian soccer’s worst tragedies.

Guerrero’s uncle was Jose Gonzales, Peru’s reserve goalkeeper when they won the Copa America 40 years ago. It was a vintage Peruvian team led by arguably their greatest ever player, striker Teofilo Cubillas.

Gonzales enjoyed a fine career at Alianza Lima, winning three league titles. He made the Peru squad for the 1982 World Cup finals in Spain and played at the Copa America in 1987 in Argentina.

But on Dec. 8 that year he died in a plane crash, aged 33.