Balbuena: I'd like to leave a good impression like Carlos Tevez


West Ham United new boy Fabian Balbuena wants to add his name to the list of South Americans who have shone in Claret and Blue.

The Paraguay international became the Club’s sixth summer signing on Saturday, spending his first hours as a Hammer watching his teammates defeat Wycombe Wanderers in a pre-season fixture.

Balbuena, who has arrived after two outstanding seasons with Corinthians, wants to follow in the footsteps of another player who joined West Ham from the Brazilian giants – Carlos Tevez.

When South Americans come here and play well they leave an impression, and I hope I can do the same

Fabian Balbuena

“The South Americans that played here have always left a good impression, like both Tevez and [Javier] Mascherano,” said the 26-year-old centre-half, “so this means West Ham is known in South America.

“So, when South Americans come here and play well they leave an impression, and I hope I can do the same.”

Balbuena becomes the latest in a long line of South Americans to pull on a West Ham shirt, following the likes of Argentinians Tevez, Mascherano, Lionel Scaloni, Jonathan Calleri, Mauro Zarate and current stars Manuel Lanzini and Pablo Zabaleta, Brazilians Ilan and Nene, Chileans Javier Margas and Luis Jimenez, Colombian Pablo Armero, Paraguayan compatriot Brian Montenegro, Peruvian playmaker Nolberto Solano, Ecuador striker Enner Valencia and Uruguayans Walter Lopez and Diego Poyet.


Carlos Tevez remains a hero among West Ham fans, eleven years on from the 'Great Escape'


Now, the decorated defender is seeking to leave his own mark both on the Hammers and on English football, as so many of the aforementioned did before him.

“I’m going to work hard to be up to the demands of the league, do my job well and pay back the faith shown in me,” confirmed Balbuena, who won three league titles in his two seasons with Sao Paulo-based Corinthians.

“We all know that the Premier League is the best league in the world and all players want to play here, so because of this I’m really motivated.

“Obviously to be at West Ham is an extra motivation, and I want to do my best to help the team. I know the Club’s history; that it was a London team with a lot of tradition. This was one of the reasons why I came here, because of the Club’s history within England.”


The decorated defender has earned seven caps for Paraguay


Of course, Balbuena will also be working under another successful South American in the shape of new manager Manuel Pellegrini, who hails from Chile.

Like Balbuena, Pellegrini enjoyed a fine career as a centre-half on his home continent before crossing the Atlantic Ocean, only in the latter’s case it was as a manager with Villarreal, Real Madrid, Malaga, Manchester City and now Manchester City.

Unsurprisingly, The Paraguay international is relishing the prospect of playing under his new boss.

“We all know about Manuel and his career history and everything he’s won at the clubs he’s been at, so that was another reason to come here, to be involved in a Pellegrini footballing project," he confirmed. “His projects are always great, and as I said at the start, I’m really motivated to work hard and do my job well.

“Everyone worldwide watches the Premier League, and as a kid I followed it a lot. Naturally it was always a dream to play here and thanks to God the dream has come true.”