Man City defender Joao Cancelo has spoken out on how a “horrific” burglary in December “terrorised my family”.
Cancelo suffered facial injuries after confronting four intruders during the break-in over the Christmas period.
Jewellery was stolen from his home during the incident. The defender has not let this affect his football as he played two days later against Arsenal. He has been in superb form for Man City this season.
Despite that, the matter was clearly a very upsetting one for him and his family.
“It was horrific,” said Cancelo at a press conference. “It terrorised my family. For me, I know how to deal with stuff but my family didn’t deserve to go through that.”
Cancelo suffered the harrowing ordeal of losing his mother in a car crash when he was 18. He had been travelling as a passenger in the same vehicle but was unhurt.
He has no doubt that incident shaped the mentally-strong character he is today.
“When I lost my mother I had to continue,” the Portuguese said. “There have been a lot of obstacles in my life and I have had to get over them.
“I’ve become a stronger player mentally and that’s how I want to keep going on. I could drop my head, but however much people try to make me suffer they won’t achieve it.
“I always like to think positively, that’s how I live my life in the best way possible.”
Cancelo has excelled as both a right-back and left-back over the past 12 months but it took him time to settle at City following his £60million move from Juventus in 2019.
He initially struggled to adapt to manager Pep Guardiola’s high-intensity methods and it took him time to earn a regular spot in the team.
Guardiola recently accepted his share of the blame for this, admitting he did not understand the player well enough at first, but Cancelo insists the burden was on him.
He said: “Yes, there were complications with the coach but it was more my responsibility than his. It was my fault. I hadn’t adapted to team’s style of play.
“I managed to recover, like I do in life, with my desire to win. It took a lot of desire to become the player I am.”
Cancelo was speaking to media in his native Lisbon ahead of City’s Champions League clash against Sporting on Tuesday.
Having come through the Benfica youth system, the match carries extra significance for Cancelo, but he is determined to treat it like any other.
“I will put the rivalry to one side,” he said. “Benfica is the team of my heart, but I’m a Manchester City player.
“Of course I want to beat them but not just because I’m a Benfica supporter, because they are our opponents and I want to qualify for the next stage.”
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