Cabral eyes new challenge at Sunderland after Basel success

Cabral and Paolo Di Canio

Cabral and Paolo Di Canio

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NEW SUNDERLAND midfielder Cabral is ready to test himself in the Premier League after winning everything he could in Switzerland.

The 24-year-old claimed five league titles and three Swiss Cups during his time at former club Basel and also had the opportunity to play Champions League and Europa League football.

However, he believes England’s top flight represents a whole new challenge and one he is keen to take on.

Cabral said: “This is a new challenge for me and I am looking forward to it.

“Playing in Basle, we won everything in Switzerland, and I played in the Champions League and Europa League.

“Now I have a new challenge in England and for me, it is the best league.”

Basle reached the semi-finals of the Europa League last season, only to lose out to eventual winners Chelsea over two legs, in a run which captivated the club’s fans.

However, Cabral, whose Champions League experience could be invaluable to Di Canio, is well aware of the level of support at the Stadium of Light and is looking forward to running out there for the first time.

He said: “The Champions League was very good and a great experience for the young players.

“Last year, we played in the Europa League and for a Swiss club to reach the semi-finals was very good also.

“Now I am playing for Sunderland in England. I am happy. In Basel, there are passionate fans - around 20,000 or so per game - but this is different.

“Every game we play, the fans are always there and that is important for the team. In the game, I battle for the fans.”