Joao Cancelo's move to Barcelona on Deadline Day has breathed new life into his career after facing challenges at his former club, Manchester City. The Portuguese defender, on a season-long loan, is relishing his fresh start in Catalonia.
Following a convincing win in Barcelona's Champions League opener, Cancelo subtly hinted at his previous club, saying, “Manchester City is the best team in the world, yes… but when Barcelona calls you, you have to go. I really wanted this club.”
Cancelo endured a forgettable 12 months with both club and country. Last season, Manchester City's manager, Pep Guardiola, implemented a system that limited the involvement of full-backs, resulting in reduced playing time for Cancelo and Kyle Walker. His international career also suffered as he entered the World Cup underprepared, missing out on a prominent role for Portugal, whom Morocco eventually eliminated in the quarter-finals.
After returning to Manchester City post-World Cup, Cancelo's fortunes failed to improve, leading to a brief loan spell with Bayern Munich. Unfortunately, he found himself playing second fiddle to Benjamin Pavard at Bayern as well. Now, at Barcelona, Cancelo has a golden opportunity to reignite his career. Barcelona's sporting director, Deco, has made it clear that a permanent move hinges on Cancelo's performance. The Portuguese defender is determined to seize this chance.
With Sergino Dest loaned to PSV Eindhoven for the season, Cancelo is virtually assured of regular first-team action unless injury strikes. As he settles into life at Barcelona, Cancelo hopes to shine in the famous Blaugrana colors, putting his Manchester City struggles and Bayern Munich stint firmly in the past.