CHIGWELL - Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes is good enough to make Brazil's World Cup squad, according to his club manager Harry Redknapp.
"Gomes has proved himself to be a great goalkeeper. Hopefully he will go to the World Cup and be part of the Brazil squad," Redknapp told a news conference.
Gomes made three stunning saves in the last 10 minutes of Tottenham's 2-1 victory over north London rivals Arsenal on Wednesday to cement his place in the hearts of the fans.
It was Tottenham's first league win over Arsenal for 11 years and much of the credit was due to the tall keeper who has suffered his share of critics since he arrived from PSV Eindhoven two years ago.
"It was a great moment for me because I helped the team win the points but I feel the same way as always, I just want to do my best for the team," said Gomes. "I'm just doing my job."
"I train every day and feel I'm in my best form now."
The 29-year-old's timing is almost perfect with Brazil coach Dunga weighing up who to include in his squad by the June 1 deadline for the World Cup finals in South Africa which start 10 days later.
Gomes has only won nine caps since his debut in 2003 but is reaching the sort of age where he should be at his peak.
"He's up there with the very best," said Redknapp. "He's a fantastic keeper. When he came to Tottenham (former England defender) Tony Adams said they'd signed the best in the world."
Adams once had a spell coaching in Netherlands.
Inter Milan's Julio Cesar and Gremio's Victor were the only goalkeepers in the Brazil squad for their final two World Cup qualifiers but Gomes must be knocking on the door.
He joined Spurs from Dutch champions PSV in July 2008 after a string of fine saves in the previous season's UEFA Cup had helped knock the Londoners out of the competition.
The joke in the media was there was some good news and some bad news for Spurs - the good news was they had signed a Brazilian, the bad news was he was a goalkeeper.
Brazil's international past is littered with goalkeeping calamities and their 1970 World Cup stopper Felix struggled to match the quality of their triumphant team of greats.
As if to confirm the stereotype, Gomes had a difficult start in England and committed several errors that were replayed constantly on television.
However, he only missed six games in the 2008-09 campaign, playing a key role as Spurs conceded just 10 league goals at home all season, and has become a cult figure at the club.
His fine form saw Gomes called up by Brazil in May 2009 for the first time in nearly three years and he is hoping Wednesday night's heroics against Arsenal will book a World Cup ticket.
Born in Minas Gerais, he made his debut for Cruzeiro in 2002 and moved to PSV in 2004 where he won four league titles in a row and played in the last four of the Champions League in 2005.
"I spoke to (former PSV coach) Guus Hiddink," said Redknapp. "He said Gomes took them to the championship and a Champions League semi-final almost single-handedly. He was that good.
"He's a great character, fantastic person, great trainer, has a good attitude around the place and he's a top goalkeeper."
The 1.91-metre tall keeper will be hoping Dunga is listening to the praise from his former coaches so he can pack his bags for a trip to South Africa.comments