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Highly acclaimed Sandro not resting on his laurels

Published: Saturday 9 April 2011, 13.48CET
Compared to Dunga no less, Sandro has settled superbly at Tottenham Hotspur FC but nevertheless maintains "a player can never think he is perfect and always needs to improve".
by Josh Hershman
from London

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Published: Saturday 9 April 2011, 13.48CET

Highly acclaimed Sandro not resting on his laurels

Compared to Dunga no less, Sandro has settled superbly at Tottenham Hotspur FC but nevertheless maintains "a player can never think he is perfect and always needs to improve".

Name: Sandro
Club:
Tottenham Hotspur FC
Debut:
21 September 2010 v Arsenal FC (League Cup)
Position:
Midfielder
Nationality:
Brazilian
Date of birth:
15/03/89

A player can never think he is perfect and you always need to improve.
Sandro
He has quality, he can play, hold the ball up and win it, he's been brilliant for us.
Heurelho Gomes
He is powerful, strong and aggressive with good feet and he can pass the ball.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp

Hailed by some as the new Dunga – Brazil's 1994 FIFA World Cup-winning captain – Sandro's physical presence and technical ability have helped ensure a seamless transition to life in the Premier League.

The 22-year-old's career began at SC Internacional, where he signed his first professional contract in 2007 before captaining Brazil Under-20s to success in the South American Youth Championships in Venezuela in February 2009. Just six months later – already renowned for his tireless running and tenacious tackling – he earned his first senior cap in a 4-2 World Cup qualifying victory against Chile.

A key member of the Internacional side that lifted the 2010 Copa Libertadores, Sandro joined Spurs in August that year, following in the footsteps of Pato, Lúcio and Nilmar by leaving the Brazilian club for Europe.

He took time to settle in England, experiencing defeat on his debut at the hands of rivals Arsenal and then excluded from Harry Redknapp's squad for the UEFA Champions League group stage. Included for the knockout rounds, though, he made his European bow at San Siro in the round of 16 first leg.

It was an opportunity he took with both hands, producing an eye-catching performance to stifle the threat of AC Milan's Pato, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Clarence Seedorf and Robinho. Also outstanding in the return at White Hart Lane, Sandro, who has made five international appearances, looks well set for a bright future.

Breakthrough game
AC Milan 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur FC
15/02/11, UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg

A tireless, yet understated performance which belied his years made this a European debut to remember. Snapping at the heels of Milan players throughout and, in tandem with Wilson Palacios, protecting the Spurs defence from a potent forward line, Sandro more than played his part in a historic night for the North London club.

He says:
"I think he had more quality than me. I'm more a marking player, when I have the ball I like to play, but not that much. I'm delighted to be compared to him, someone who has a beautiful history in Brazil."
On being compared to Brazil legend Socrates

"A player can never think he is perfect and you always need to improve. I have to improve my forward movement, my shooting and my ability to get forward with more strength and steal possession."
On improving his game

They say:
"Sandro is a good player, really quick, he looked like Dunga when he played [against AC Milan]. He has quality, he can play, hold the ball up and win it, he's been brilliant for us."
Team-mate and compatriot Heurelho Gomes

"He is powerful, strong and aggressive with good feet and he can pass the ball. He needed a little run in the team. He has an ability to run and work for 90 minutes. He is a young player with a big future."
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp

Last updated: 07/12/13 5.30CET

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