The Argentine centre-half was part of the Sevilla side that triumphed over our round of 16 conquerors Benfica in last season’s Europa League final, and was also at the Spanish club when they lifted the silverware in 2007.
Having switched to White Hart Lane at the end of last month, 27-year-old Federico is hoping to make his debut for us this week as we kick-off proceedings in Group C with a tough fixture at the Partizan Stadium in Serbia.
Speaking from experience, the Buenos Aires-born defender believes an early victory will stand us in good stead for our latest continental challenge.
“At Sevilla we started very early in the competition with four matches in qualifying, then the group stage and then the knockout,” Federico said. “It was 19 games in total – a lot of matches.
“It’s difficult but if we want to win this competition we need to compete in all the matches. We need to start strongly in a difficult game in Partizan and try to get the three points.
“The final is in May but we must take it match-by-match and think about the next game. That’s against Partizan and we need to win.”
As has been widely publicised, the winners of this season’s Europa League will earn a Champions League spot in 2015-16. It’s an incentive Federico believes only adds to the value of an already exciting tournament.
“It’s a great competition and this season, if we win, it takes us straight through to the Champions League,” he said.
“The tournament is great because you can play in other countries and then, in the knockout stage, it’s good to play against teams from the Champions League – some very good teams.
“We need to enjoy it as we have a good team that wants to do well in this competition.”