‘Horrific’ burglary ‘terrorised my family’, reveals Man City’s Joao Cancelo

Manchester City v Brentford – Premier League – Etihad Stadium
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Joao Cancelo has spoken of how his family felt “terrorised” after a violent burglary at their home last December.

Cancelo, the Manchester City full-back, suffered facial injuries after confronting four intruders during the break-in over the holiday period.

The 27-year-old has not the let the distressing incident, in which jewellery was stolen, affect his football. He was back on the field two days later as City played at Arsenal while his excellent form this season was rewarded with a new five-year contract earlier this month.

(opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

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.

Cancelo (left) needed time to adapt to Pep Guardiola's style

Cancelo (left) needed time to adapt to Pep Guardiola’s style (Oli Scarff/PA)

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 began his career with Benfica

Cancelo began his career with Benfica (Andrew Matthews/PA)

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.”

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1