‘Lies were told’ – Joao Cancelo blasts ‘ungrateful’ Manchester City

Joao Cancelo celebrates after Robert Lewandowski scores Barcelona's third goal against Napoli in the Champions League
Joao Cancelo denies he was a bad team-mate at City after losing his place in the side - Getty Images/Alex Caparros

Joao Cancelo has accused Manchester City of being “ungrateful” and hit back at criticism of his attitude.

The Portugal full-back is currently on loan at Barcelona having spent the second half of last season on loan at Bayern Munich.

City are expected to try to offload Cancelo permanently this summer with Barcelona hoping to secure a cut-price deal. Arsenal have also been linked with the player.

Pep Guardiola instructed City to offload Cancelo after being unimpressed with the way the 29-year-old reacted to falling out of favour during the club’s Treble winning season.

Cancelo played an integral role in City’s back-to-back title successes in 2021 and 2022 but subsequently lost his place and was loaned to Bayern in January last year amid complaints about his behaviour having been dropped.

But Cancelo has dismissed suggestions he was a bad team-mate in an interview with Portuguese newspaper A Bola.

“Lies were told. I was never a bad companion for them and you can ask either [Nathan] Ake or Rico [Lewis], he said.

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

“I never failed in my commitment to the club, to the fans, I always gave everything.”

Cancelo said the best example of that came when he played in a Premier League game away to Arsenal – despite being attacked only 36 hours earlier when intruders broke into his family home and left him with facial injuries.

“I remember a time when I was jumped and attacked and the next day I was playing at the Emirates against Arsenal,” he said.

“These are things you don’t forget, I left my wife and daughter alone at home, terrified.

“People will only remember this because Mister Guardiola is much more powerful than me when he says something and I prefer to keep it to myself.”

Cancelo insists he always maintained the highest levels of professionalism.

“I prefer to know that I am telling the truth, I feel fulfilled with what I did,” he said.

“I am a transparent person, I never lie. Life goes on and I wish it all goes well, because while I was there I enjoyed my football and the team.”

Haaland calls for changes to throw-in rules

Meanwhile, Erling Haaland has urged football’s authorities to implement goal-line technology across the entire pitch, including throw-ins.

The City striker believes there should be clearer guidelines to prevent teams from gaining unfair advantages on throw-ins, and less pedantic rules around how the ball is thrown.

“If you throw this way or that way, it doesn’t matter. Just make sure you have two hands on the ball,” Haaland told City’s official podcast.

“I don’t even know the rules, and if I’m going to make a throw, I’ll probably do it wrong.

“But it doesn’t matter if you throw the ball straight down, straight up or whatever. I would change that.

“And you can’t steal too many metres, there should be a limit to how far you can go and a limit to how long you can take. I think it will be like that in the future.”

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