‘Going from Premier League to Turkey was eye-opening – our bus was smashed with stones’

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'Going from Premier League to Turkey was eye-opening – our bus was smashed with stones'

‘Going from Premier League to Turkey was eye-opening – our bus was smashed with stones’

Ex-Spurs star Sandro has explained how during his time with Turkish side Antalyaspor, he and his team-mates found themselves sitting on the bus whilst it was being pelted with stones

Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Sandro has revealed he once found himself sitting in a Turkish team bus which was being pelted with stones by football fans.

Joining Spurs back in 2010, Sandro spent four years with Tottenham before moving on to join QPR in 2014, who would go on to get relegated from the Premier League during his first season at Loftus Road. However, fast forward another two seasons, and the Brazilian international found himself playing in Turkey for Turkish Super Lig side Antalyaspor.

And it was there that the midfielder experienced something which calls now “crazy”. Ahead of a derby game for Antalyaspor, Sandro and his team-mates were travelling to the game in their team bus, when they were met a sea of opposing fans, who began to pelt the coach with stones.

Having experienced the passion of the Premier League, Sandro, who retired from football earlier this month, is no stranger to playing in front of raucous football fans. However, his experiences in Turkey were on a different level.

And speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes Fanzone, the ex-Spurs ace explained how the difference in the mentality of the fans in England, compared to those in Turkey, differs massively, adding the latter fans would be happy throwing anything at players on the pitch. “It’s very difficult to make that move from playing Premier League football, to playing out in Turkey,” Sandro said.

“It’s so difficult mentally, because we’re talking about two completely different levels of quality; you cannot compare the two. From a fan perspective, too, over there it’s completely crazy; it’s mad. Completely mad.

“One day, we were heading to the game, a local derby, and our team bus was getting smashed with stones… it was crazy. I was just like ‘guys… what the… what is this?!’ The fans are extremely passionate out there, but it’s so bad… on the pitch, you’ll be playing, and someone will throw things at you. Phones… anything they can throw, they will throw. That’s not football… that’s crazy.

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“I didn’t feel good over there. Like I said, in the Premier League, you’re in the best league in the world, there’s respect, everyone is nice, most people are polite. Over there, my friend, you go there, you have to be very strong mentally.

“It’s a different level out there. You’d just regularly look around and wonder what you’re doing out there. Don’t get me wrong, in Brazil, we’ve got crazy fans as well. But Turkey? That’s the craziest.”