Having arrived as a Tottenham Hotspur FC player with two strong displays against AC Milan, Sandro told UEFA.com he is loving life in north London with a quarter-final first leg at Real Madrid CF looming on Tuesday.
Although his signing had been agreed five months earlier, the defensive midfielder did not join from SC Internacional until August and the conclusion of the Brazilian team's successful Copa Libertadores campaign. Omitted from the Tottenham squad that gained admirers for the way they won UEFA Champions League Group A, the 22-year-old was given intermittent run-outs by manager Harry Redknapp as he adjusted to the rigours of English football.
Come the round of 16, though, the Brazilian international was handed his European debut and – finally able to showcase his talents to a wider audience – enhanced his reputation with two assured performances as Tottenham frustrated the seven-time European champions. "
Before the Milan match I don't think English people knew me very well, and now they are getting to know me slowly," he said. "I want to thank everyone, I love life here in London."
Being a spectator for the first half of Spurs' continental campaign afforded Sandro, who has made 12 Premier League appearances, time to hit the ground running when his chance eventually came. "I already had it in mind that I would have to play in some important games to show my quality and to show I could help the team because I wasn't playing a lot," the anchorman added. "In [Milan] I knew I wanted to play well and we emerged victorious. It was there that Sandro arrived at Tottenham."
Having claimed the sizeable scalp of Milan, Sandro is undaunted by the prospect of meeting a Madrid side who have won 22 of their 23 home fixtures this season. "We can't go there and be afraid of them," he said. "
We've already played great matches in the Champions League and we have the ability to go there and play well."
The statistics certainly promise an exciting tie, with both teams averaging more than two goals a game since the group stage began. "My friends are happy to see Tottenham play against Real Madrid," continued Sandro. "They know it will be a great match and that we are in good form. Madrid also know we have some players who can defend, just like they have. For the fans it will be a great tie."
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.