West Ham United defender Fabian Balbuena has admitted that his move to the Premier League helped him to be recalled to the Paraguay squad.
As reported on the official club website, the defender joined the hammers during the summer transfer window from Brazilian side Corinthians and he has settled in very well under Manuel Pellegrini.
The centre-back is beginning to form a good partnership with fellow summer signing Issa Diop, with both players impressing fans with some solid performances.
New Paraguay boss Juan Carlos Osorio has been monitoring Balbuena’s Premier League form and has rewarded him with an international call-up. Balbuena said:
The dream of every player, at least in South America, is to play in the big leagues. The Premier League is one of the best, if not the best, it has the best players in the world and every kid, when they start playing football in South America, can see the Premier League matches and dream about playing in one of those teams, so, obviously it was a motivation, a challenge.
And obviously I also thought about the national team, which is going through a transitional period and it’s important to have as many players as possible in the big leagues. We have them in Spain, in France and it’s really important for Paraguayan players to develop their potential in the national team.
Paraguay always had a strong defence, with very powerful defenders who play with 100 per cent determination, and you have to keep that up because if you do a good job you’ll open all the doors for future footballers.
Paraguay are trying to rebuild their squad and want to be back on the world stage after failing to qualify for the 2014 and 2018 World Cup finals.