Robinho 'can be world's No 1'

Elano believes that Robinho's move to Manchester City can help him become the best player in the world.

Elano, left, and Robinho celebrate a goal when the Manchester City pair played for the Brazilian giants Santos.
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MANCHESTER // Robinho's move to Manchester City can help him become the best player in the world. That is the view of his teammate Elano, who has vowed to help his fellow Brazilian international reach the very top. Robinho's deadline day transfer to Eastlands from Real Madrid in August for a British record £32.5 million (Dh190m) stunned football, but could well prove to be the vital step that helps him challenge Kaka, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the coveted accolade.

He has made an impressive start to his City career, scoring six goals in eight games, and with more quality signings expected in the January transfer window to strengthen the side, Robinho is tipped to sparkle even more. Elano, who also played with him at his first club Santos and the national team, said: "Of course he can become the best player in the world and I am playing in the same side to try to help him become that.

"While he's had a great start to his career here at Manchester City, I still feel he plays his best football when I am also on the pitch because we have such a great understanding. "We have played before together and what will take time is the players around him will now have to learn and understand how he plays the game, how best to give him the ball or how best to spot his runs. It's something I know well.

"I can watch him and just know when he's going to take the game by the scruff of the neck and do something special; he has that ability. I feel I know him inside out and he has such great talent." Elano admits Robinho's arrival, coupled with the takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group, has certainly put City on the football map. While the club has endured mixed results so far in the Premier League, the midfielder, 27, is confident the future is bright.

"A lot of my friends and [Brazil] teammates have been talking about it all, asking me about the club and what is going to happen," he added. "I can say that Manchester City are now known all over the world. We have suddenly got a lot of new power, financial power, and I am excited about it. "I was here last season before all this, but it's great that the Abu Dhabi group has taken over and is turning Manchester City into one of the big powers of world football.

"I am ambitious and the first objective is to win things with Manchester City. We are improving all the time and we know how difficult the English league is. "But, obviously, our main aim in the long term is to become the champions of England."