Belfast Telegraph

Sandro focuses on return

Sandro says he is on course to return to action this summer when he hopes to go back to a Tottenham team who are competing in the Champions League.

Last month Tottenham allowed Sandro to return to Brazil to recover from the serious knee injury which he sustained against QPR in January. In his absence, Tottenham have suffered. With six matches of the season remaining the north London club are in danger of just missing out on Champions League football for the second successive season.

"We have to fight to stay in fourth place," Sandro told Globo Esporte.

"Last year was complicated. We did not classify because Chelsea were the champions of Europe. The Champions League is a different competition (to the Europa League). Everything the fans see is what the player feels... the entrance music, the stadia, the fans... everything is amazing.

"I first played in the competition in 2010 when we beat AC Milan at the San Siro. We beat Inter Milan, too, and we only lost in the quarter-finals to Real Madrid. It was a really great experience. Hopefully the club will compete in the competition again."

The good news for Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas is that, three months after twisting his knee, Sandro is on the mend. The midfielder's rehab with his former club Internacional is going well, he insists, and he looks set to be fit for pre-season.

"I've got three months to go," Sandro said. "I've started to run, I'm developing. Sometimes I try too much and the knee swells up. I have to listen to the doctor. I have to give the injury enough time, but I dream that I am playing."

Sandro admits he was in the best form of his life before he suffered the injury. He now hopes to regain that sort of form so he can earn a place in Luiz Felipe Scolari's squad for the 2014 World Cup in his homeland.

"I was in the best phase of my life as a player, so it was hard when I had the injury," said Sandro, who won a silver medal with his country at the Olympics.

"I struggled with the language when I moved to Spurs (in March 2010), but (goalkeeper) Heurelho Gomes helped me. Today the coach is Portuguese, which helps me a lot. Hopefully I'll be back playing with my club and then I can think about the national team. When I return I will be stronger."


From Belfast Telegraph