Sampaoli salutes Escudero and Ganso


Jorge Sampaoli singled out Ganso and Sergio Escudero for praise after strong performances in Sevilla's 4-0 Champions League thrashing of Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday.

Brazil international Ganso was making his first start for the club since a 1-1 draw at Eibar on September 17 after a rocky start to life in Spain following his close-season move from Sao Paulo.

But in the absence of the injured Samir Nasri, Ganso stepped up and pulled the strings alongside the equally impressive Steven N'Zonzi in midfield, playing a role in the first two goals in a performance that did not go unnoticed.

"During the match Ganso was at his best - he had a very good game after so long without playing," Sampaoli told reporters.

"He made good decisions with his final pass. This competition [for places] makes us choose between great players.

"Without Nasri we thought that Ganso could assume that [playmaker] role. We were very superior. I'm happy to win a Champions League match comprehensively."

Left-back Escudero scored Sevilla's second goal of the match in the 66th minute, capping off a lovely move and he then supplied the third, setting up N'Zonzi for a header.

The 27-year-old is enjoying an excellent season deputising for the injured Benoit Tremoulinas and Sampaoli believes a maiden Spain call-up is just around the corner.

"Escudero will draw the attention of the Spanish coach [Julen Lopetegui]," he said. "He is producing great performances."