Barcelona’s encounter with FC Porto revealed a contrasting tale of two halves, with an upturn in cohesion and synergy after proceedings helping the Catalans secure qualification to the Champions League round of 16.
However, one man in particular shone from minute one to 90, being involved in both of Barcelona’s goals and arguably producing his best performance at the club since arriving: Joao Cancelo.
Despite the Portuguese being berthed as a right-back the majority of the games since joining, he was fielded as the left-back on this occasion against Porto and ended up dropping jaws with a man-of-the-match performance.
Cancelo earning plaudits
Now, according to AS, Cancelo has won the hearts of compatriots and trainers alike.
From Barça’s dressing room, they say that ‘Cancelo is a competitive animal’. They are amazed by the Portuguese full-back.
Having plied his trade for some of the biggest European powerhouses and winning titles in Italy, England, and Germany, it is safe to say Cancelo is a serial winner, whose mentality has earned him praise from the Blaugrana dressing room.
Cancelo is currently on loan from Manchester City, yet the Barcelona staff is keen on extending his stay and will try to agree a formula with his parent club.
Trainers equally in awe
In addition to his teammates giving him praise, the 29-year-old has drawn praise from Barça’s physical trainers.
According to them, “Cancelo never gets tired; he is a true athlete.” The player trains with full intensity, gives everything on the pitch, and recovers very quickly.
Apart from his offensive abilities, Cancelo helps guise a lot of spaces, defending in transition with constant surges up and down the pitch.
Moreover, the fact that Cancelo has played fourteen games consecutively and still does not show signs of exhaustion pays a testament to his incredible fitness standards.
The Portuguese’s night was cut short after playing tirelessly for the past few games, but doctors have confirmed the substitution was just a precaution, and he will be ready to face Atletico Madrid.