De Amores: We’ve done Uruguay proud
© Getty Images

There were mixed feelings for Uruguay keeper Guillermo de Amores as the FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 reached its conclusion on Saturday evening. Though delighted to collect the adidas Golden Glove as the competition’s outstanding custodian, having let in only three goals in seven games, he also had to endure the sadness of losing the final in a penalty shootout to France.

Appreciative of his efforts throughout the tournament, Uruguay coach Juan Verzeri had this to say about his No1: “I think he’s consolidated his reputation in this World Cup. He’s had a superb tournament. He’s been secure, calm and a commanding figure in the team. That’s how I like my goalkeepers.”

Though disappointed after his side’s shootout defeat, De Amores struggled to conceal his satisfaction as he looked back on La Celeste’s run to the final in an exclusive chat with FIFA.com.

FIFA.com: You’ve just suffered a cruel defeat in the final of a competition in which Uruguay have had an excellent run and you have been recognised as the outstanding goalkeeper. Do you feel happy or sad right now?
I’ve got mixed feelings. It’s a real shame because we wanted to win the World Cup and we came very close. I think we played a great game and gave everything we had to give. I’m very happy for my team-mates because they really did their best. We put in a great performance at the back, denied them space and stopped them from scoring, which was one of our objectives. We also had our chances to hurt them but we just couldn’t put them away, and after extra-time came and went we had to go through penalties. Sadly I couldn’t stop any of them. All I can do is congratulate our opponents.

What does this individual award mean to you?
I feel very proud to win it. It’s recognition of all the fantastic defensive work the team’s done throughout the tournament. I’m grateful to my team-mates and I want to dedicate it to them because it’s their award too. They’ve worked hard for 40 days to be champions and we came really close. I’m sad at the way things turned out, but as time goes by I’m sure I’ll come to value this trophy even more.

Personally speaking, how would you rate your experience at Turkey 2013?
It was a great tournament and I’d like to thank the organisers. What stands out for me on a personal and team level was just how well we acquitted ourselves and the fantastic squad that we had. I think we’ve given all we can in this tournament, and even though we didn’t reach our objective we can walk away with our heads held high.

How far do you think finishing runners-up at Turkey 2013 will help you to break into the full national team?
It’s something we can always look back on, but if you want to make the senior team you have to keep on working and do a job wherever you play. What really stood out for me in this tournament is that Uruguay have the resources to achieve big things.

The whole of Uruguay has been behind the team and you’ve also had the support of senior internationals such as Diego Forlan and Fernando Muslera.
It was great to have the whole country behind us and I think we made people feel happy. After the semi-final against Iraq we heard the nation was very pleased with what we’d done and that people were out on the streets celebrating. We couldn’t give them the world title but there’s no need for them to worry. We gave our all and we showed that there are enough good players to make the national team World Cup winners again.

Uruguay came close to glory at Mexico 2011 and Turkey 2013, proof that the country is always there or thereabouts in major tournaments.
Yes, we thought this was our chance to lift the World Cup but we came up just short. I hope we’ll get the opportunity to get our own back one day.

Where are you going to put your trophy?
We’ll have to see. I think it’s going to stay at home, in my room, somewhere close where it can’t get away from me (laughs). It’s going to be in a prominent place.