'Robinho thought he'd be playing rugby in England!'

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The Brazilian superstar was a poster boy for Manchester City but he was taken aback by the physicality of his opponents in the Premier League

Former Manchester City striker Jo has claimed that Robinho thought he would be playing “rugby” in one of his first games for the club, such was the size of his opponents!

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Both Brazilians joined City in the summer of 2008, following Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan's takeover of the club.

And both were selected to face Portsmouth at the City of Manchester Stadium by manager Mark Hughes, with Sol Campbell, Peter Crouch and Papa Boupa Diop all lining up for the opposition.

Robinho was subsequently taken aback by the height and physicality of Pompey’s XI, according to Jo, and the two shared a joke in the tunnel prior to kick-off.

“In Robinho’s game against Portsmouth in 2008 I scored my first goal with Manchester City’s shirt, but this game had a really funny story before,” he told ESPN.

“We were positioned in the tunnel and their defence was Sylvain Distin and Sol Campbell, one of the midfielders was Bouba Diop, and there was Peter Crouch in the attack. It was almost a team only of giants.

“Then Robinho looked at the guys and said to me, ‘F***, Jô, are we going to play rugby? Look at the size of the guys!’ I just replied: ‘Yes, Robinho, welcome to the English League.”

Both Robinho and Jo scored as City won 6-0. Sometimes giants can be slayed.

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