Poyet named in FIFA U-20 World Cup squad

Hammers midfielder Diego Poyet will represent Uruguay at the FIFA U-20 World Cup finals in New Zealand at the end of May
Diego Poyet is planning to do his country proud after being confirmed in Uruguay's squad for the FIFA U-20 World Cup finals in New Zealand.

He may have been born in Spain, raised in England for the majority of his childhood and speak English with a London accent, but the West Ham United midfielder has no doubts about which country he calls home.

Born in Zaragoza and raised in London while his father Gus played professionally for Real Zaragoza and Chelsea, the 20-year-old midfielder moved to Montevideo with his family as a young child before returning to England at the age of ten.

Poyet came through the youth ranks at Charlton Athletic and was capped by England at U16 and U17 levels before opting to play for the nation his family still call home in February 2015. He debuted for Uruguay U20s in three friendly matches in March and has now jetted off for a pre U-20 World Cup training camp in South America.

This week, the No23 was confirmed in Uruguay's final squad for the tournament, which begins on 30 May and where Uruguay face Serbia, Mexico and Mali in the group stage.

“I went for some friendlies last month and it went well so they have called me back now and I flew out on Saturday night,” Poyet told whufc.com. “We have two weeks in Uruguay and we’ll see how training goes, then the final group will be named for the World Cup in New Zealand.

“It was always going to be different because they already had a group which had played the Copa America Under-20s in January and I didn’t go. I thought it was going to be hard to settle in with the group, but it went much better than I thought and I’m very happy and looking forward to meeting up with them.

“I lived there for some years and every single person in my family except for my Mum, my Dad and my brother live there, so it’ll be nice to go back and see some cousins, aunts and my whole family and be with them for some weeks.”
When you look at some of the players Uruguay has brought up over the years, it is something the country is very proud of
Uruguay has produced some of the world’s finest footballers down the years – Enzo Francescoli and Luis Suarez, to name but two – but most people will be unaware that it has a population of just 3.3 million.

Poyet is hoping La Celeste continue to punch above their weight at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, where they finished as runners-up in 1997 and 2013.

“If you look at the senior squad, they all play in Europe and there are only just over three million people in the whole country,” the midfielder explained.

“When you look at some of the players Uruguay has brought up over the years, it is something the country is very proud of.”

So, can Uruguay make their mark in New Zealand – a country Poyet visited with the Hammers for a pre-season tour last July?

“There are lots of good teams, but we fancy our chances. I don’t want to jinx us, but Uruguay always seem to do well in tournaments, so we’ll go over there with the intention of winning our games and getting through.

“We went to New Zealand last summer on pre-season and I can’t believe I’m going there twice in the space of one year!”