Xavi has now heaped praise on Joao Cancelo after the Manchester City loanee enjoyed a phenomenal debut for Barcelona.
The Portugal international made his first start for the Spanish giants in Saturday’s 5-0 win over Real Betis.
What’s the story?
Well, the 29-year-old impressively scored on his full debut for Barcelona to round off the 5-0 win, despite starting the game at right-back.
Cancelo also played a key role in Joao Felix’s opener, winning the ball back high up the pitch with a superb tackle.
Furthermore, the Manchester City loanee embarrassed Real Betis No.17 with a delightful nutmeg – he seemed to thoroughly enjoy his full debut for Barcelona.
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Speaking about Cancelo’s performance, and also his fellow Portugal international Felix, Xavi told MARCA: “We are talking about two footballers who, at the level of individual quality, are beyond doubt. You watch them train and you see their greatness.
“Cancelo comes from a coach (Pep Guardiola) who for me is the best and interprets everything very well. We have spoken with him and he has understood it. They both give variations that make the team improve. Physically, they are strong. They raise the quality of the team.”
Clearly, Xavi is delighted with his two deadline day loan signings.
Joao Cancelo unlikely to play his way back into Manchester City
As long as Guardiola is at the Etihad Stadium, we cannot see a way back for Cancelo in Manchester.
According to the Guardian, the 52-year-old was left dismayed by the Portuguese defender’s attitude after being dropped last season, and has since loaned him out twice, first to Bayern Munich, and now Barcelona.
Guardiola can also now call upon Josko Gvardiol in his backline – another technically strong defender – so we can’t see a place for Cancelo at Manchester City next season, regardless of how well he plays at Barcelona.