de Guzman's Dutch delight
13th February 2013
Jonathan de Guzman has underlined the key role Swansea City played in winning his first international cap - and how the club were the talk of the Holland squad during a recent friendly.
The loan star has shone brightly at the Liberty since his temporary switch from Villarreal last summer, scoring six goals in 32 appearances for the Swans.
His form in Michael Laudrup's side earned him a first call-up for the Dutch senior side for a recent friendly against Italy.
Although born in Canada, the midfielder pledged his allegiance to Holland after moving there at the age of 12 to join Feyenoord's Academy.
His senior Dutch bow with a second-half appearance in a recent draw with Italy proved to de Guzman he made the right choice.
And he admits his loan move to the Swans has played a massive part in helping him gain national recognition.
"Obviously the move to Swansea sparked the call-up," said de Guzman.
"It put me in the public eye playing Premier League football, especially with Swansea doing so well this season and playing very good football.
"It was a very proud moment in my career, not just for me but also my family. I flew my mother and father down for the game which made it even more special.
"It was another step in my career and hopefully there will be a lot more to come in the future.
"I had a lot of choices when it came to choosing which country to make myself available for, including Canada, Jamaica and the Philippines.
"I made my decision early by declaring Holland as my chosen option. It was a difficult choice, especially as I didn't play much at Villarreal last season.
"But I had faith in my own ability and now I'm glad now that I stuck to my original stance."
With the Swans flying high in the Barclays Premier League, de Guzman revealed there was plenty of praise for the club amongst the Dutch squad - no more so than from Manchester United star Robin van Persie.
"All the players in the Dutch squad spoke highly about Swansea when we were together," added de Guzman.
"Robin Van Persie, in particular, has praised the Swans a lot in the media this season.
"It was great talking to him about Swansea. He's a great player and role model. The Dutch squad is a young group and he helped us a lot during the get-together."