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Pedro catches Cup fever

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Pedro Mendes knows all about the joy and heartache of an FA Cup run can bring - he reports the Portuguese Cup is very similar.

The midfielder was a beaten finalist in last season's competition in his homeland - a rare defeat for Porto in a campaign where they won the domestic Super Cup, the league and Champions League.

"The Portuguese Cup is a big competition and one that everyone wants to win - I think the FA Cup is the same," reasoned Pedro. "Comparing the two in terms of importance to club and fans, they are very similar.

"It is always a matter of prestige to win the cup of the country you are playing in. The final in Portugal is played in Lisbon, there is always a big party and it is a huge day for the clubs and fans.

"We played against Benfica in the final last season and lost 2-1 - just four days before the Champions League final!"

Having been witness to the opening stages of this season's FA Cup, Pedro added that he is not surprised over the passion people in England have for the famous old competition.

"It was not a big surprise, I realise that every club - independent of names and divisions - has a legion of fans. Everyone gets behind their club and the level of support in the last round did not surprise me.

"All games in England are difficult - I already realised this."

He was also not surprised to be told that over 5,000 Spurs fans will be travelling to the Hawthorns to back the team as they try to overcome the hurdle of West Brom.

"It will be hard, but I am very happy that over 5,000 fans will be there to see us play. We get great support away and at home games, of course. We want to win and go through to the next round, so we'll see.

"I think every team is improving and playing better now we are in the second half of the championship."