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What happened between João Cancelo and Pep Guardiola?

Catalunya Ràdio revealed what happened between the Portuguese and Guardiola in January.

Cancelo, en un control de balón.

João Cancelo went through all kinds of emotions in Barcelona’s match with Celta Vigo on Saturday. Unlucky all game, he had lost the ball eight times against the side from Galicia; one dispossessed ball somehow did not cause Xavi’s side to concede more on the night. Cancelo himself admitted that he played poorly afterward, but it is clear that he is an exceptional player.

Late in the second half - as the clock ticked down - he made a wonderful break before spotting the movement of Robert Lewandowski, who scored to make it 2-2. Four minutes later - in a move that Xavi said comes directly from the training ground - he made it 3-2 to snatch a later winner for the Blaugrana in the 89th minute.

Joao Cancelo, con Guardiola en un Manchester City-Liverpool.
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Joao Cancelo, con Guardiola en un Manchester City-Liverpool.DPA vía Europa Press

Guardiola doesn’t fancy Cancelo

Barcelona have a player on their hands and the secret, perhaps, was explained by journalist Oriol Domènech on Catalunya Ràdio on Saturday. On 14 January, Manchester City lost 2-1 in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford. The Manchester United winner came towards the end of the game. Pep Guardiola saw something he didn’t like that day and decided to make changes in the following game. One of them was to leave Cancelo out and bring in the promising young Rico Lewis.

City then beat Tottenham 4-2 and Pep repeated the plan with the home-grown player against Wolves. Guardiola’s side won 3-0 again, so Guardiola insisted with Lewis and left the Portuguese out again for the FA Cup fourth-round tie against Arsenal. When Cancelo found out he would be left on the bench again, he spoke with some team-mates about the decision, which did not please Guardiola at all and when the game was over (City won), Guardiola spoke to Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano and asked them to find a new club for Cancelo.

Cancelo joins Bayern on loan

The player’s agent, Jorge Mendes, got the ball rolling and Cancelo ended up at Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich. Barça are now reaping the rewards of Guardiola’s decision.


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