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I'm back, says sunshine boy Robi

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Robinho reckons there was nothing wrong with his game that a goal and a bit of sunshine couldn't cure. In the wake of his long-awaited strike against West Brom, he squinted into Manchester's bright summer sun and grinned: "It's just like being in Brazil!"

Robinho reckons there was nothing wrong with his game that a goal and a bit of sunshine couldn't cure. In the wake of his long-awaited strike against West Brom, he squinted into Manchester's bright summer sun and grinned: "It's just like being in Brazil!" The cheery Brazilian has taken some rough treatment from defenders in his first English season since a club record move from Real Madrid, and the high-profile star has lived the goldfish-bowl style on and off the pitch.

Before his Albion hit, there were fears he had been "found out" by opposition defences as leading-scorer Robi went 17 matches without a goal after his 12th at Blackburn in December, and was even left out against Fulham. 

But Robinho has refused to link his bleak mid-winter to any worries over the serious allegations about his private life that only lifted recently when a police investigation cleared him of any wrongdoing.

He said: "It was a bad thing to happen, but you have to take into account that I had done nothing wrong. So I carried on with my life and playing my football as if nothing had happened. That was how it was, and how it had to be. That had nothing to do with me not scoring goals.

"The expectations are always high, whether it is here or in the national team in Brazil. People expect that you will play well and score a lot of goals, but that is not always possible. I always hope to play well and make City supporters happy. I play with a smile and happiness, and I want them to be proud of the club and smile."

Robinho admits he has had more aches and bruises to contend with since he left behind Real and the Primera Liga for the no-holds-barred Barclays Premier League that ranks as one of the toughest in the world.

He said: "It is very physical and strong football. I am not a strong footballer but I think I have been able to adapt quickly, considering that I was used to a different style of football. Of course, I have a lot of bruises.

"I finish games feeling quite tired. I have been hit hard a lot most of the time, but that is part of being a footballer. It's part of the price you pay. When I start to make my plays the marking is quite tight, but if I'm successful things get better.

"I don't think I have to invent anything new. I will come into training ever day and train hard as usual, then on a match day I just do my best and show what I can do. That won't change. I'll be better adapted next season.

"My goal on Sunday was important because it helped the team to win as well as showing what I do best, which is scoring goals. The team is getting better and the club is thinking bigger, so the future is looking good."

Robinho's close affinity with Brazil team-mate Elano was a feature of the home wins over Hamburg and West Brom, and critics have warned that if City sell Elano, whose future is by no means certain, Robi will also want to leave.

But he said: "Everybody who watches Elano play knows that he is very good, a player in the national team who has a lot of qualities. But it is not my part to decide our transfer policy. As a friend and team-mate, I hope he remains at the club for years to come."

The Da Silva twins at Manchester United have admitted they are homesick for Brazil, but Robinho smiled: "With this weather, I don't miss very much at all. Except my friends, of course. Every year we spend in Europe we get more used to it and things get easier. When the sun shines, you don't miss much."

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