Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Sandro has likened Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho to Brazil legend Ronaldinho.
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Sandro -- who, like Coutinho, is hoping to make the Brazil squad for the 2014 World Cup -- will come up against his compatriot at White Hart Lane on Sunday as Spurs seek a victory that would allow them to move level on points with the visitors.
Luis Suarez would appear to be the key threat to Spurs, and Sandro acknowledges that the Uruguayan is a “great footballer” who “can do something out of nothing,” but he has warned his teammates that Coutinho, like 2002 World Cup-winner Ronaldinho, has the ability to create real danger with his vision.
“With the ball, Coutinho’s passes are like Ronaldinho’s,” he told the Daily Mirror. “His passes are good, man. He doesn’t move a lot, but his passing! You think he is going to pass here and he passes there instead.
“He does the same as Ronaldinho. You think he’s going to do one thing, and he does something completely different. He changes. Ronaldinho was the best player, but I think their style is similar. I’m happy for him. He is young but he starts good at Liverpool. It is difficult to do that at Liverpool.”
Sandro said Spurs head coach Andre Villas-Boas will make specific plans to deny Coutinho the freedom to create chances.
“It will be me or Etienne Capoue who will try to stop Coutinho,” he said, “For me, I don’t think a lot before the game. Just when I am there, I want to stop him, stop his freedom.
“If midfielders have freedom they can do something to hurt you. I want to be close to him and tackle him.”