A versatile and skilful player, Paolo Hurtado can operate in a number of attacking roles, including on both wings or just behind the front two.
Dubbed “El Caballito” (the Little Horse) at the outset of his career due to his tendency to tirelessly gallop down the flank, he initially starred for Alianza Lima and Juan Aurich, putting in high-quality performances for the latter club that earned him his first Peru cap in 2011, under the watchful eye of then national coach Sergio Markarian.
The Callao native took part in the qualifying campaign for Brazil 2014 and in the 2015 Copa America, but soon afterwards, with the Russia 2018 qualifiers already underway, his international call-ups dried up.
However, in March 2017, following a fine run of form with Portuguese outfit Vitoria Guimaraes, where he had been converted into an attacking midfielder, Ricardo Gareca brought him back into the fold.
Hurtado was subsequently included more often in squads than in starting line-ups, but he still managed to make seven appearances during the qualifying campaign, scoring one goal.