PEDRO PORRO has kept his sunny outlook despite the gloom at Tottenham since he arrived – and is confident brighter days are ahead.It is thanks to the smiley full-back’s Spanish trait of accentuating the positive, as well as the experience he has from overcoming many obstacles already in professional football.
Pedro Porro joined Spurs from Sporting Lisbon in JanuaryCredit: Rex
But it is also down to his biggest influence, his grandfather Antonio, to whom Porro says he owes his career because of the sacrifices he made to help make his grandson’s dream come true.
And when facing his task of turning a tough start to life in North London into a success, Porro has the words of his beloved grandad in the back of his mind.
The 23-year-old exclusively told SunSport: “In Spain, we say the sun will come up tomorrow and that’s how I feel. I’m an optimist.
“I know it’s a huge change (coming to the Premier League) and I feel it’s something that’s within me.
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“That inner struggle of working day in day out, it’s not easy to feel like that when things aren’t going your way from the beginning.
“It’s a different city, a different country, a different type of football.
“But my grandad always used to say that in life, everything has its price. You’re always going to have to struggle and you have to be ready for difficulties because going through bad times will always help you.”
Tottenham will certainly be hoping that is the case after a difficult and disappointing season which has left them scrapping to qualify for Europe.
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Porro arrived on deadline day in January, on an initial loan from Sporting Lisbon which will be turned permanent for £39million in the summer.
He is onto his third manager already, following the departures of Antonio Conte and Cristian Stellini, and has had some baptisms of fire including his debut, where the team were walloped 4-1 at Leicester, and the trouncing at Newcastle, conceding five inside 21 minutes.
But Porro insists he is not one for giving in when times are tough.
Born in the small Spanish town of Don Bonito, he “came from nothing” with his builder father Luis, who suffers with back problems, and supermarket employee mother Eva were always working.
Due to his parents grafting to put food on the table, he was largely raised by his grandparents.
PEDRO PORRO has had a manager for pretty much every month he has been at Tottenham.
The Spanish defender was signed on loan by Antonio Conte on transfer deadline day in January.
But since the fiery italian left the club in March, he has been coached by interim boss Cristian Stellini and then, after his axing, the latest caretaker, Ryan Mason.
Porro, 23, said: “To be honest, it’s been a new experience.
“I am just trying to absorb the best of each coach. When I first arrived, Cristian stayed when Antonio left. The very little I worked with Antonio, I really enjoyed.
“I also came here because I felt I could improve with them. I am really learning from everyone. Even when Cristian left, I realised I learned a lot from him.
“Now with Ryan I know him very well, I know how he works inside and outside the pitch. I really enjoy the way he works and it’s about learning from all of them.
“What’s happened has happened and it’s not an easy thing to liaise with. But I’m trying to really learn from each coach.”
Ever the optimist, smiley Porro has been trying to make the best of it – but it has been far from ideal for a foreign player arriving in a new country and new league.
Spurs plan to bring in a new permanent head coach this summer, with Feyenoord chief Arne Slot and Luis Enrique among their targets.
And Porro, who will see his loan switch from Sporting Lisbon be turned permanent this summer for £39million, believes stability in the dugout will help the North Londoners flourish next term.
He added: “The most important thing is to have stability, to have the will to win and continue working.”
Spurs are in a battle to make Europe for next season, despite competing in the Champions League this term.
They currently occupy seventh, which would see them qualify for the Europa Conference League, and see Brentford at home on Saturday lunchtime as must-win.
Some fans have turned their nose up at the Conference League, believing it might be better not to play continental football at all than be in it.
But Harry Kane claimed otherwise earlier this month, claiming the third-tier European club competition could be a chance to end the club’s 15-year search for silverware.
Porro added: “I agree with Harry. We have to be in Europe and we have to try to get as far as we can in Europe.
“The team is together and we’re working towards our goals. That’s how we’re going to continue.”
Antonio was the one who took him to matches but he was very close to grandmother Maria del Carmen, who sadly passed away last year before he joined Spurs.
Porro honed his considerable technical ability playing indoor football and took the bold decision to leave home at 13 to go to Rayo Vallecano in Madrid.
He reflected: “I remember the very first week, I wanted to leave. That’s the truth.
“I was super young. I was used to being with my grandparents, I was used to having my meal there when I came home, to have the love of the family.
“But I believe that if I am making a living as a footballer, it’s because I overcame those difficult moments. I believe it made me stronger.”
Spurs fans may know Porro as a wing-back, but he grew up as No10, idolising Andres Iniesta.
His impressive set-piece delivery, which has seen him take over as free-kick and corner taker for Tottenham, only came about from his practising them after training with Spain Under-21s “for fun”.
He already has two goals and two assists in the Premier League, forming a fruitful early partnership with Harry Kane, whom he calls a “killer in front of goal.
Tottenham defender Pedro Porro was speaking to SunSport at an event at Riverside School in Wood Green, North London
Porro was all smiles as he put on an inclusive football session with the students, who have a range of learning difficulties
Defensively, though, it has been a tricky adjustment.
Ex-Spurs boss Tim Sherwood laid into him on punditry after that Leicester debut to forget, while Porro was brutally exposed at both St James’ Park and Anfield.
The wing-back, once of Manchester City but who never played a game for the reigning Premier League champions, said: “I have plenty to learn and I am aware of that.
“I am a very young player, I work day to day towards improving. I watch the videos, I am working with the team that’s helping me. I’ve been a defender for the past three years but I’ve always been a forward.
“The Leicester match really taught me a lesson. Afterwards I thought you either get your things together or you’re going to have a hard time.”
Porro has spoken before of his reaction to Sherwood’s hammering of him after that Leicester game and brought it up here as well, branding it “strange”.
He also branded Foxes playmaker – and Spurs target – James Maddison as his toughest opponent so far in England.
But throughout all the challenges and the flak, Porro has maintained his happy-go-lucky disposition, together with what is becoming a trademark beaming smile.
He added: “I came from nothing and I know what I have achieved.
“I keep my feet on the ground. You have to enjoy life and always have a positive outlook.
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“There are going to be bad days. But the sun is always going to come up.”
Pedro Porro was speaking at Riverside School in Wood Green, where he joined students with a range of learning difficulties for an inclusive football session delivered by Tottenham Hotspur Foundation. His visit forms part of the wider work delivered by the Club and its Foundation to create life-changing opportunities and experiences for young people across its community. More