Republic of Ireland keeper Shay Given hopes Robinho's spell at Santos will be of long-term benefit to Manchester City.
The Brazil international was loaned back to his former club ahead of the World Cup finals after slipping down Roberto Mancini's pecking order.
Given went head-to-head with his club team-mate in Tuesday's international friendly and it was Robinho who impressed by scoring in a 2-0 win.
City's shot-stopper knows Robinho was not playing regularly at Eastlands and believes he will regain his spark with first-team football back in Brazil.
Robinho is due to return to City after the summer and Given hopes the former Real Madrid ace will come back to England a better player.
"He wasn't playing enough to be honest at Manchester City," Given told Sky Sports News. "He's gone back to Santos to play and prepare for the World Cup.
"Hopefully he does well there and does well at the World Cup and he'll come back to us a better player.
"I just think he was out a long time with injury and he wasn't getting his match sharpness back and stuff.
"Playing out in Brazil will sharpen him up for the World Cup and in the long term it will be of benefit to Manchester City."
City bounced back from their FA Cup disappointment with a fine 4-2 win over Chelsea last weekend, a result which Given feels has everyone buzzing.
Mancini's side tackle out-of-sorts Sunderland this weekend and Given knows it is imperative to build on their Stamford Bridge win.
"Great result. We're delighted. We have to kick on now," he continued. "It's a tough place for us. We have to try and win at Sunderland.
"It's a big carrot getting into the Champions League and we've got to push hard now until the end of the season."