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João Pedro Cavaco Cancelo (European Portuguese: [ʒuˈɐ̃w kɐ̃ˈselu]; born 27 May 1994) is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Premier League club Manchester City and the Portugal national team. Mainly a right back, he can also play as a right winger or a left back.

João Cancelo
João Cancelo (5) (cropped).jpg
Cancelo playing for Portugal U19 in 2012
Personal information
Full name João Pedro Cavaco Cancelo[1]
Date of birth (1994-05-27) 27 May 1994 (age 25)[2]
Place of birth Barreiro, Portugal
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)[2]
Playing position Right back / Winger
Club information
Current team
Manchester City
Number 27
Youth career
2002–2007 Barreirense
2007–2012 Benfica
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012–2014 Benfica B 51 (3)
2014–2015 Benfica 1 (0)
2014–2015Valencia (loan) 10 (0)
2015–2018 Valencia 64 (2)
2017–2018Inter Milan (loan) 26 (1)
2018–2019 Juventus 25 (1)
2019– Manchester City 5 (0)
National team
2010 Portugal U16 6 (0)
2010–2011 Portugal U17 17 (1)
2011–2012 Portugal U18 7 (0)
2012 Portugal U19 25 (1)
2013–2014 Portugal U20 9 (0)
2014–2017 Portugal U21 11 (1)
2016– Portugal 16 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 26 October 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21:50, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

After coming through Benfica's youth academy, Cancelo began playing for the club's reserve side in 2012 and was promoted to the first team two years later. He was subsequently loaned to La Liga club Valencia during the 2014–15 season, with Los Ches making the move permanent in summer 2015. Cancelo was on loan at the Serie A team Inter Milan during the 2017–18 season, in which he was included in Serie A's Team of the Year. Cancelo's performances sparked the interest of Italian rivals Juventus, who signed him in 2018 for a reported fee of €40.4 million. During his stint with Bianconeri, Cancelo won the league and the Supercoppa Italiana in his first and only season. In 2019, he was signed by English club Manchester City, in a transfer worth an initial €30 million (£27.4 million).[note 1]

Cancelo made his senior debut for Portugal in 2016 after previously being capped by the nations's all youth team levels, winning 75 caps and scoring three goals overall. He was also part of Portugal's under-21 team that reached the 2015 UEFA European Championship Final. He was chosen in Portugal's squad for the 2019 UEFA Nations League Finals on home soil, winning the latter tournament.

Club careerEdit

BenficaEdit

Born in Barreiro, Setúbal District, Cancelo started playing football with local Barreirense.[3] He joined Benfica's youth system in 2007 at the age of 13, where he played as both right and left back.

On 28 July 2012, Cancelo made his debut with Benfica's first team in a friendly against Gil Vicente where he played the full 90 minutes as a right back.[4] Despite being registered with the B-side, he was touted as a possible replacement to Maxi Pereira in the seniors;[5] until 2013 he also represented the juniors, and on 18 May of that year he scored the two decisive goals in a 2–1 win over Rio Ave to win the national championship.[6]

Cancelo played his first competitive game with Benfica's main squad on 25 January 2014, coming on as a late substitute in the 1–0 home success against Gil Vicente for the Taça da Liga,[7] which was later won. His maiden appearance in the Primeira Liga occurred on 10 May after they had already been crowned league champions, and he started in a 1–2 loss at Porto.[8]

ValenciaEdit

2014–15 seasonEdit

 
Cancelo playing for Valencia in 2015

On 20 August 2014, Cancelo joined Valencia on a one-year loan deal with the option to purchase for €15 million.[9] Although his economic rights were owned by Peter Lim, a loan was arranged to take him to Valencia due to Lim's purchase of the latter club.[10] His La Liga debut occurred on 25 September, playing the entirety of a 3–0 home win over Córdoba;[11] He initially started as a substitute and appeared in the round of 16 round of the Copa del Rey in the first leg against Rayo Vallecano. He would also occasionally move to the right wing and later his good performances, specially against Levante on 12 April 2015, in which he was awarded the man of the match.[12][13] Throughout the season he was used a second choice right-back behind Antonio Barragán, finishing the season with 13 appearances, across all competitions. Cancelo's performances helped Valencia reach Champions League, leading on 25 May, Cancelo agreeing to a permanent contract with the Spanish club until 30 June 2021, for a transfer fee of €15 million.[14][15][16][17]

2015–16 seasonEdit

In the following season, Cancelo became a starter earning his debut in the UEFA Champions League on 16 September, where he scored his first goal for Los Che in a 2–3 home loss to Zenit Saint Petersburg. In doing so, he became the fifth youngest scorer in the history of Valencia in the Champions League (aged 21 years and 107 days).[18] On 2 December, Cancelo scored his first goal Copa del Rey in a 3-1 victory over Barakaldo. Valencia was eliminated from the tournament after losing 8-1 on aggregate to Barcelona.[19][20][21] He also netted for the first time in the league the following 20 April to conclude a 4–0 win over Eibar at the Mestalla Stadium.[22]

2016–17 seasonEdit

In the 2016–17 season, Cancelo performances slightly got worse with Cancelo making some errors leading him to commit a penalty in Valencia's first league match in a 2-4 loss against Las Palmas. Despite his errors, Cancelo's performances got better, leading him to be used more often with new coach Cesare Prandelli, with his position being changed to the right-wing.[23] Cancelo was fixed in the eleven throughout the season, playing almost the same number of games between the right-back and the right-wing. On 2 April he scored his first league goal in a 3-0 victory against Deportivo La Coruña. Afterwards, Cancelo made a gesture to silence the fans for protesting against his defensive errors, but immediately apologized for the gesture.[24]

Loan to Inter MilanEdit

On 22 August 2017, Cancelo joined Inter Milan on a one-year loan deal until 30 June 2018 with the option of making the move permanent.[25] The deal was part of a loan exchange, with Geoffrey Kondogbia moving in the other direction.[26] He made his Serie A debut four days later, replacing Antonio Candreva in the 83rd minute of a 3–1 success at Roma.[27][28]

Cancelo suffered a knee ligament injury in late August 2017 while on international duty, going on to be sidelined for one-and-a-half months.[29] He returned to action during the 3–2 home victory over A.C. Milan in the Derby della Madonnina, featuring 20 minutes.[30] After a few weeks of adpation in the Serie A, Cancelo made his debut as a starter at the Coppa Italia in a home victory against Pordenone. On 17 April 2018, he scored his first league goal with a free kick in a 4-0 home victory over Cagliari.[31] During his phase of adaptation in Serie A, in which was added some tactical misunderstanding, his performances progressively improved, leading him to be included in Serie A's Team of the Year.[32][33][34] Despite his good performances during the season, the club opted to not buy Cancelo.[35]

JuventusEdit

On 27 June 2018, Cancelo was signed by Juventus on a five-year contract for €40.4 million,[36] making his domestic league debut on 18 August in a 3–2 away win against Chievo.[37] He won his first trophy with the club in January 2019, featuring the entire 1–0 victory over Milan for the Supercoppa Italiana.[38][39][40] He scored his first league goal the same month, as his team came from behind to defeat Lazio 2–1 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome; he also helped win the decisive match-winning penalty later during the same game, which was subsequently converted by compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo.[41][42] On 6 October, Cancelo provided an assist for Rodrigo Bentancur in a 2–0 away win over Udinese.[43] On 7 December, Cancelo provided an assist for Mario Mandžukić in a 1–0 home win over against his former club Inter Milan in the Derby d'Italia.[44]

On 10 April 2019 Cancelo provided an assist for his compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo in a 1–1 away draw in the first leg of Juventus' Champions League quarter-final against Ajax, on 10 April.[45] In the second leg in Turin on 16 April, Juventus eventually lost the match 2–1, and were eliminated from the competition.[46] Four days later, Cancelo played in the Scudetto-clinching match against rivals Fiorentina, as Juventus won their eighth successive league title after a 2–1 home triumph.[47]

Manchester CityEdit

On 7 August 2019, Cancelo joined Premier League champions Manchester City in a six-year deal worth £27.4m plus Danilo being sent to Juventus in part-exchange, equalling to £60 million, making him the most expensive right back ever.[48][49] On 25 August, Cancelo made his Premier League debut against Bournemouth appearing as a late substitute for Kyle Walker in a 3–1 victory.[50]

International careerEdit

 
Cancelo playing for Portugal U19 in 2012

Cancelo represented Portugal in the 2012 UEFA European Under-19 Championship.[51] He was also selected for the following edition, in Lithuania.[52]

With the under-20s, Cancelo appeared at the 2013 FIFA World Cup and the 2014 Toulon Tournament.[53] He featured in two games in the former competition, with the country reaching the round-of-16.

Cancelo was part of the under-21 squad that competed in the 2015 European Championships. He replaced left-back Raphaël Guerreiro midway through the second half of the 5–0 semi-final win against Germany for his only appearance of the tournament,[54] in a final runner-up finish to Sweden.[55]

Cancelo was called up for the first time to the senior team by head coach Fernando Santos on 26 August 2016,[56] playing the full 90 minutes of a 5–0 friendly win over Gibraltar in Porto on 1 September and scoring the third goal.[57] In the following month he added another two, in as many 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Andorra (6–0, home)[58] and Faroe Islands (away, same score).[59]

In May 2018, Cancelo was included in a preliminary 35-man squad for the finals in Russia,[60] but he did not make the final cut.[61]

Style of playEdit

Regarded as a promising player in the media, Cancelo is mainly known for his speed, energy and offensive capabilties, as well as his technical skills, creativity and crossing ability. He is capable of playing as a full-back or winger on either flank, although he usually plays on the right.[62][63][64][65]

Personal lifeEdit

In January 2013, Cancelo was involved in a car accident on the A2 in Seixal which killed his mother, Filomena. He and his brother received only minor injuries.[66][67][68] On 23 June 2019 Cancelo's girlfriend Daniela Machado announced that they were expecting their first child.[69]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

As of match played 6 October 2019[70][71]
Club Season League National Cup[nb 1] League Cup[nb 2] Continental[nb 3] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Benfica B 2012–13 20 2 20 2
2013–14 31 1 31 1
Total 51 3 51 3
Benfica 2013–14 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0
Valencia 2014–15 10 0 3 0 13 0
2015–16 28 1 4 1 7 1 39 3
2016–17 35 1 3 0 38 1
2017–18 1 0 0 0 1 0
Total 74 2 10 1 7 1 91 4
Inter Milan 2017–18 26 1 2 0 28 1
Juventus 2018–19 25 1 1 0 1 0 7 0 34 1
Manchester City 2019–20 3 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 5 0
Career total 180 7 13 1 3 0 15 1 211 9

InternationalEdit

As of match played 25 March 2019[72]
National team Year Apps Goals
Portugal
2016 4 3
2017 2 0
2018 6 0
2019 2 0
Total 14 3

International goalsEdit

As of match played 25 March 2019. Portugal score listed first, score column indicates score after each Cancelo goal.
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition Ref.
1 1 September 2016 Estádio do Bessa, Porto, Portugal   Gibraltar 3–0 5–0 Friendly [57]
2 7 October 2016 Estádio Municipal, Aveiro, Portugal   Andorra 3–0 6–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification [58]
3 10 October 2016 Tórsvøllur, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands   Faroe Islands 6–0 6–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification [59]

HonoursEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Cancelo's transfer equates to €65 million as part-exchange deal, where Danilo would be sent to Juventus.

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit