FC Bayern: Joao Cancelo’s silent farewell from Munich

In Munich, Joao Cancelo (29) wanted to play football again and would like to win three titles. How things will continue for the Portuguese is completely unclear.

After all, a title jumped out for Joao Cancelo (center) and Bayern at the end of the season.


It got loud several times in Manchester at the beginning of April, for example the three times the ball landed in Bayern’s goal. When City threw the door wide open to the semi-finals in the Champions League quarter-final first leg, a man who so desperately wanted to be front and center was almost forgotten. Who would have loved to have had his moment and said: that’s what you get for simply scaring me away!

Instead, there was a hail of whistles when Joao Cancelo was thrown in by Thomas Tuchel ten minutes before the end – Bayern had long since clearly lost the game. Ironically, the player who had provided the winning goal against Borussia Dortmund with a dream assist to Erling Haaland in the group phase was now on the opponent’s pitch and had to accept boos from the stands with every ball action. how could it get so far?

Cancelo: rashes to world class, but…

In fact, it still happens that every now and then those questions arise: Why doesn’t Pep the because pull? Why is he giving Leroy Sané to Bayern? Why is he allowing Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko to join Arsenal at the same time? And why, if you please, is he giving Bayern Joao Cancelo in the middle of the season? Even without a rental fee!

And somehow, in the end, it’s always Guardiola who has the last laugh. Sané was not as good in Munich (so far) as in Manchester, Gabriel Jesus and Zinchenko ultimately did not become champions. And Cancelo… On the one hand, he was able to confirm that he is a wonderful footballer, sometimes even with world-class swings. However, he also showed why the reputation of the moody diva followed him from Lisbon via Turin, Milan and Manchester to Munich.

You can see that he knows where the ball has to go. And he has the technical means to implement it. An absolute asset!

There was great joy in the Bayern camp when Cancelo, who couldn’t leave Man City quickly enough after three games as a reserve player, both in the cup debut in Mainz (4-0) and in the league debut in Wolfsburg (4-2). each contributed an assist. “These are balls that I dream of,” enthused Leon Goretzka at the beginning of February. “You can see that he knows where the ball has to go. And he has the technical ability to do that. An absolute asset!”

Hooks, feints, crosses and dribbling – everything that made Cancelo not too long ago the best full-back in the world he showed in the FC Bayern jersey. Alone: ​​The joy about the newcomer with the brilliant white teeth didn’t last too long. The Portuguese was too seldom effective in offensive play, but too often he allowed himself to drop out defensively, sometimes dribbling in front of his own sixteen and losing the ball. And found himself on the bench in no time at all.

Cancelo has to play to be happy

Cancelo quickly perfected a technique that others had shown him in Munich. Whenever he walked through the mixed zone of the Allianz Arena, he held his cell phone to his ear to be on the safe side. Whether he was actually on the phone or not, at least he avoided questions about his situation. And if the cell phone was left in his trouser pocket, Cancelo preferred to look down or to the other side. Instead, he gave interviews in Portugal and said there what Guardiola had already emphasized: Cancelo has to play to be happy.

After Cancelo didn’t play a minute in Stuttgart (2-1), he didn’t bother to hide his frustration the following day during training with the substitutes. “You could see that the situation wasn’t that easy for him,” admitted Julian Nagelsmann. The back three was the problem, said the Bayern coach at the time, Cancelo needed a back four. Internally, too, it was clear to those responsible that the then 28-year-old worked best there, in the back right of the foursome. But just then, just as Cancelo came, Nagelsmann moved away from the 4-2-3-1. However, a few weeks later he had to leave anyway – from Säbener Straße.

Cancelo favors a move to Spain

Thomas Tuchel also initially left Cancelo on the bench in his debut against Dortmund (4:2), but the spirited Portuguese’s luck was the misfortune of the others. First Dayot Upamecano was suspended in Freiburg (1-0), then Alphonso Davies suffered a muscle bundle injury in Mainz (1-3), which banished him to the stands for the rest of the season. Cancelo was allowed to play as a substitute left-back, with Noussair Mazraoui on the right.

However, Cancelo did not really advertise himself enough, at least not enough considering the 70 million euro purchase option that Bayern had written into the contract at the end of January. Games like the penultimate one against Leipzig (1-3), in which Cancelo was the only driving force in an otherwise shockingly quiet offensive, showed that Bayern lacked a player besides Joshua Kimmich who could also find creative solutions from behind . However, they remained a rarity.

Only now, after Cancelo became champions with both Bayern and Man City in one season, the future is uncertain. FC Bayern will not pay 70 million euros, Cancelo, who favors a move to Spain anyway, would have to be a real bargain to enter his apartment in Munich’s Bogenhausen district again. It looks more like a silent farewell.

2023-06-05 09:00:00
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