Sandro prepared to start from scratch at Spurs

RIO DE JANEIRO - Sandro's Libertadores Cup winner's medal will not be in his bags when he moves to Tottenham Hotspur, a sign the young midfielder is prepared to "start from zero" after a rapid rise with Internacional.

With only two seasons as a professional under his belt, the 21-year-old is already a Brazil international and will be unveiled on Wednesday by Spurs after the London club paid a reported 7.0 million euros for his transfer.

Despite the high expectations of manager Harry Redknapp, who said last week Sandro would definitely be in his 25-man squad this season, the player recognised he would have to build a new reputation in English football.

"It's a new life. I know they have their players there, whom the club respects. I'll be arriving there as a national team player too, and a Libertadores champion, but I know I'll have to start from zero," Sandro told Brazilian media.

"I've never played there (in England), the fans don't know me. I like that, that kind of challenge. It's going to be tough for me but I feel prepared."

Sandro graduated from the Inter juniors to the first team squad in 2008. The following year, having captained Brazil's under-20s to the South American title, he became a regular for his club and made his Brazil senior debut.

He was included on Friday in a 22-man national team squad of European-based players for a training camp in Barcelona next month.

Sandro's transfer to Tottenham was settled in March but with an agreement that he stayed at Inter until the end of their Libertadores Cup campaign, when they were crowned South America champions this week.

"I'm unbelievably happy. From the beginning of the year, when my move was being discussed, I knew I'd be a champion. I had that in my head," said Sandro, who won his first Brazil cap last year.

"I'll always have a bit of Inter with me," he said as he prepared to link up with Brazil goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes at Spurs.

Asked what Sandro would bring to the Tottenham team, Redknapp told Reuters on Friday:

"I'm not going to start making predictions. Sandro is a good young player and he'll have to come and get used to England and adjust to the Premier league. Hopefully, he can adjust to the pace quickly but we'll have to wait and see."

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