Moscow: Peru midfielder Andre Carrillo said here on Thursday that his team's "first objective" at the 2018 World Cup is to advance to the knockout stage as the winners in Group C, where the South Americans face Australia, Denmark, and France.
"We want to advance, first or second, but our main objective is to reach first place, which is why we do not have a main rival. We are going to face the three teams with the same resolve," he told reporters in Moscow.
Carrillo, who turned 27 on Thursday, said that Peru's national team had significantly improved their game, both through the players' skills and through the way they face opposing teams.
"We have improved our mindset, our defense, and offense, many different things," he said, two days ahead of Peru's World Cup opener against Denmark.
Carrillo said he was very pleased with the team's training, adding that he and his teammates did not feel additional pressure as the first Peruvian national squad to qualify for the tournament since 1982.
"We are quite calm because we have worked hard and have done everything we could to get here. Now we have to take advantage of this and give Peruvians the joy they deserve," he said.
Carrillo also said that he and his teammates were aware of the widespread show of support for the national team.
"I have seen videos of people in Russia, I have seen many Peruvians. I had heard that many Peruvians were coming and now we can confirm this," he said.