I played with Neymar for Brazil but Spurs star was the best – he should have a Ballon d’Or

Sandro is a very lucky man to have played alongside some of the biggest stars in recent history in football.

For his native Brazil, he trained and alongside some true greats such as Neymar, Dani Alves and Ronaldinho.

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Sandro, Neymar and Ronaldinho played together for BrazilCredit: AFP
Sandro was renowned as a tough-tackling midfielder with a penchant for long shots

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Sandro was renowned as a tough-tackling midfielder with a penchant for long shots

Sandro played 17 times for the Selecao, including at the Copa America in 2011 alongside a 19-year-old Neymar, while he played alongside Ronaldinho in a friendly against Bosnia in 2012.

And in the Premier League, he played for Tottenham with Luka Modric, Rafael Van der Vaart and a very young Harry Kane, though it was at Spurs where he saw Gareth Bale in the flesh.

The Welshman was already at the north London club when Sandro turned up in 2010, playing with him for three years before Real Madrid snapped him up for £85million.

It was the final season together that left Sandro’s jaw on the floor after a spectacular campaign from Bale where he scored 26 and assisted 14 in all competitions.

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The Brazilian was so impressed, that he thought the forward should have won the Ballon d’Or that year – an award Cristiano Ronaldo won instead.

Speaking on talkSPORT’s White & Jordan Show on Friday afternoon, Sandro explained how Bale was better than any other player he has worked with.

He told Jim White and Simon Jordan: “I tell everybody that Bale was the greatest player that I played with.

“Everybody points out I played with Ronaldinho’ – I trained with him, you know and played a few games with him.

Sandro was starstruck by Bale in 2012/13

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Sandro was starstruck by Bale in 2012/13Credit: Getty
Bale had a barnstorming campaign in 2012/13 where he won the PFA Player and Young Player of the Year

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Bale had a barnstorming campaign in 2012/13 where he won the PFA Player and Young Player of the YearCredit: Getty

“But Bale affected the game, for me, that year [2012/13] in every single game. Scoring, assists, Champions League.

“I thought next year the Ballon d’Or he should have won because he was everywhere, flying.”

It was a brilliant year for Tottenham, who were just starting to awaken as a big club – largely down to Bale’s prowess.

While they missed out on the top four by a point to rivals Arsenal, they still achieved their highest-ever points tally in the Premier League.

They finished the season with 72 points, having won 21 games, largely down to Bale, who was head and shoulders above every other player that season.

It saw him land both PFA Player of the Year Award, the second of his career, and PFA Young Player of the Year, an achievement only Andy Gray and Ronaldo have completed.

Bale went on to leave Tottenham for Real Madrid that summer in a record-breakingtransfer, where his legacy is still debated.

Bale scored arguably the greatest Champions League final goal of all time in 2018

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Bale scored arguably the greatest Champions League final goal of all time in 2018

While injuries played a large part, Bale still managed nine seasons at the Bernabeu and made 258 appearances, scoring 106 goals.

He also helped Los Blancos win five Champions League titles, more than any other British player in football history.

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It was his stunning overhead kick against Liverpool in the 2018 final that helped them on their way to victory over Jurgen Klopp’s men in Kiev.

While Bale never won the Ballon d’Or, his trophy cabinet is still swelling from his achievements at Real Madrid, something that might not have happened had he stayed in north London.

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Source From: Football News, Transfers, Opinion – talkSPORT

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