Men's Team

City have taken my game to another level, says Cancelo

Joao Cancelo says becoming a Manchester City player has elevated his game to another level.

The Portuguese defender, fresh from penning a two-year extension to his current deal, has become pivotal to the way City play, with his unique ability to play comfortably on either flank and licence to drift infield and often operate as a traditional No.10 does.

All this, plus his ability to pick out world class passes and score spectacular goals has seen Cancelo redefine the role of a full-back in much the same way Ederson has taken goalkeeping to new heights.

“It makes all the sense to extend my contract with Manchester City,” said Cancelo.

“I have learned how to become a more versatile player. I feel I can play in different positions now, not only right-back or left-back.

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“I feel I can play in several positions on the pitch, and I think (it) is easier in this team because of the quality all the players have. It's easier to play in this team than in any other team.”

Given the quality contained within Pep Guardiola’s squad, Cancelo, 27, believes City are ideally poised to continue to challenge for silverware for many years to come.

The 31-times capped Portugal star says the Club’s strength in depth is evident not only from the 11 players who start on a match day - but equally, the quality of those who don’t.

“I think this team has great potential,” Cancelo added.

“When you see the starting eleven and the players that are on the bench, you can see the amazing squad we have by how many quality players are left out of the starting eleven.

“You can play with eleven players and change the whole team for the next game, and we don't lose quality.

“That factor makes us better players because we have competition in the team.”

Cancelo also revealed he initially feared he had made the wrong choice in joining City back in 2019.

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Fortunately, within a few months, he realised he’d actually made the best decision of his career.

And he says the presence of Portuguese compatriots Bernardo Silva and Ruben Dias has also helped him to relax and bring the very best out of him.

“In my first months, I wasn't extremely happy about my decision to join Manchester City,” Cancelo admitted.

“I came from a club that I also like a lot, Juventus. I spoke to my girlfriend, and we agreed that I had to make the best out of myself to be able to play.

“As of December-January onwards, I started playing regularly so that makes a player happier. We players always want to play, but always with the aim of helping the team to achieve its goals.

“Since I arrived, Bernardo Silva has been a great friend to me and a great support to me, both for me and my family.

“I have known him for a long time, we have built a good friendship since we were young.

“He has helped me a lot here. Also, I knew Ruben Dias from Benfica, but not as much as I knew Bernardo. Bernardo is from the same generation as I am.

Ruben Dias has also helped me a lot. Both are very calm people, so they help me to be more relaxed as well.

“My goals for this season would be to win all the trophies we are involved with Manchester City and also qualifying for the World Cup with Portugal - and win it!

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“I'm very competitive, I always want to win and that is probably why I have the personality I have.

“In this club, I'm always confident to succeed. We have a lot of players with bright futures.

“Phil Foden is going to be one of the best players in the world, if not the best.

"The atmosphere around the first team is fabulous and I think that is one of the key factors that made us win so many trophies lately.”

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