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Opportunity knocks for Sandro

Posted on 30 June 2011  - 12:00

Heurelho Gomes hopes his Brazilian compatriot Sandro gets the chance to shine at the Copa America.

Opportunity knocks for Sandro

Heurelho Gomes hopes his Brazilian compatriot Sandro gets the chance to shine at the Copa America.

South America’s biggest international tournament kicks-off on Friday when hosts Argentina take on Bolivia in Group A.

The tournament - South America’s version of UEFA’s European Championships, organised by their governing body CONMEBOL – consists of three groups of four with group winners, runners-up and the two best third-placed teams progressing into the quarter-finals.

Capped six times, Sandro enjoyed a fine second half to the season at Spurs and will now hope to play a part in Brazil’s opener against Venezuela in Group B on Sunday.

“It’s a great opportunity for Sandro,” said Gomes. “I don’t know if he will be in the starting 11, but the coach (Mano Menezes) believes in him.

“Everyone knows Sandro now and how well he’s played for Spurs.

“He was excellent for us last season and he also did well when he came on for Brazil in recent friendlies against Holland and Romania.

“I hope he gets to play and can do as well for Brazil as he has for Tottenham. He’s a great player and it says a lot that he’s already in the national team at such a young age.”

Brazil – aiming for a hat-trick of titles having won in 2004 and 2007 – also face Paraguay and Ecuador in Group B.

“The Copa America is so important to all the countries in South America,” added Gomes. “There are some big rivalries, like Brazil and Argentina. I think the tournament will be very good.

“The new coach is trying to build a new team and it’s not easy, but we can see how Brazil will progress in the next few years.”