• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Cancelo fumes at Guardiola, labels him a liar

Cancelo-Guardiola (1)

Joao Cancelo has criticised Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, labelling the former Barcelona manager a liar in an interview with Portuguese media A Bola, labelling the former Barcelona manager a liar in an interview with Portuguese media A Bola.

Cancelo’s frustration started from his loan move to Bayern Munich in 2023, following reported discontent from Guardiola over his reaction to being benched at Etihad Stadium.

The 29-year-old Portuguese defender played a crucial role in City’s successful 2021/22 season, contributing to their back-to-back Premier League triumphs. However, a decline in form during the 2022/23 season led Guardiola to favour Nathan Ake in his position.

Signed from Juventus in 2019 as one of the most expensive right-backs at the time, Cancelo’s tenure at Etihad Stadium ended due to a rift with Guardiola, resulting in his loan to Bayern Munich. Despite Bayern’s decision against a permanent deal, Cancelo seized the opportunity to join Xavi Hernandez’s Barcelona squad.

Speaking to A Bola during Portugal’s international duty, Cancelo expressed disappointment with Man City’s handling of his departure, citing his unwavering commitment and sacrifices for the club. He referenced incidents like playing after being attacked, yet feeling disregarded due to Guardiola’s influence.

“I think Manchester City were a bit ungrateful to me when they told me that, because I was a very important player in the years I was there,” Cancelo said.

“I never failed in my commitment to the club, to the fans, and I always gave everything. I remember a time when I was mugged and attacked, and the next day I was playing at the Emirates against Arsenal.

“These are things that are not forgotten. I left my wife and daughter alone at home, terrified. People will only remember this because Mr. Guardiola has much more strength than me when he says something, and I prefer to keep it to myself,” Cancelo added.

The former Juventus right-back also disputed Guardiola’s public criticism of former teammates Rico Lewis and Nathan Ake, asserting the falsehood of such claims.

“Lies were told,” he insisted. “I’ve never been a bad colleague to them, and you can ask Ake or Rico. I don’t have any superiority or inferiority complex towards them, but that’s the coach’s opinion.”

Furthermore, Cancelo expressed his excitement about joining Barcelona, a club he admired since childhood, despite accepting a pay cut. He praised Barcelona’s ethos and playing style, emphasising his long-standing admiration for the club.

“My whole family is Benfica, but I’ve always admired Barcelona. All my idols played here, I like the way they view the youngsters, [and] they have a game culture that I love,” he said.

“Then I went there, I took a pay cut, and that doesn’t bother me in the least. It was the third time I was about to come to Barcelona and I am finally here.”