Mens Team

Cancelo: I'm learning every day from Guardiola

Cancelo: I'm learning every day from Guardiola
Joao Cancelo says he is learning and improving every day from playing under City manager Pep Guardiola.

The Portuguese defender has been in inspired form this season, producing a series of eye-catching performances in helping City embark on a 13-match unbeaten run.

As well as being deployed at right back, Cancelo has also shone when pushed further forward into midfield, with his pace and attacking instincts helping add an extra dimension to our play.

Ahead of Wednesday night’s return to Premier League action at home to Brighton and Hove Albion, Cancelo described how he was thriving under the leadership of Guardiola – a figure he has admired from being a youngster back home in Portugal.

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“One of the reasons why I joined Manchester City was to be managed by Pep Guardiola,” Cancelo revealed.

“When I was a kid, I used to follow his FC Barcelona. I enjoyed the style of play he implemented there.

“That's why I decided to come here.

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“With him, it's continuous learning. He is a great manager, you learn with him every day, you become a better player both technically and tactically.

“I think both myself and my team-mates feel we improve as players every day that we spend under his command. Without a doubt, he is [a demanding manager].

“Exigency is something we don't miss in our daily routines. I think players with our quality and our level need to have that exigency to be better footballers.”

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By his own admission, Cancelo took time to fully adjust to life at City after his move to the Etihad from Juventus in the summer of 2019 as he took in a new start in a new country and language.

But reflecting on the subsequent 18 months, the Portuguese international said he was now fully acclimatised both to life at City and the Premier League – and seeking to further improve all the time.

“My adaptation was difficult, like any time I have moved to a new club,” Cancelo reflected.

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“You change country, weather, league, everything is different. You need to settle in as quickly as possible but sometimes it is difficult.

“Now, I feel I'm well integrated into the team and in the country, and I just want to improve week by week.”

For his part, Guardiola has been quick to praise the role and contribution made by Cancelo to City’s progress so far this term.

Though gratified to hear the manager's positive words, Cancelo said his overriding focus was to seek to continue to push on and help the team.

“It's a reason to be proud that such an important manager as Pep Guardiola says those things about me [that I can be even better],” Cancelo admitted.

“I just try to do my job, try to contribute to the team with my skills and help the team to achieve its goals.

“That's what we all try to do: use our individual talent to benefit the team.”

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