Some teams arrive at the World Cup in a state of wonder and bliss—they’re just happy to be there. Los Canaleros (“The Red Wave”) fit that description this time around. Hernan Gomez’ team took advantage of the United States’ epic failure in October 2017, scored a “phantom goal” against Costa Rica in its last qualifier, and snuck into the tournament. Though first-timers, Panama does not lack experience: Striker Blas “Super Raton” Perez is 37, while defender Felipe Baloy and first-choice goalkeeper Jaime Penedo are both 36. Will these veterans treat their first, and likely last, World Cup like a victory lap or a springboard to greatness?
Here, portraits of all 23 players on the 2018 World Cup squad.
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