Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo has hailed veteran Barcelona star Dani Alves as the greatest full-back in the game.
Speaking to the club’s official website about the influence of Brazilian players on his game, Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo has hailed Barcelona superstar Dani Alves as the best full-back in the history of the game.
Cancelo joined Manchester City in 2019 from Juventus and has established himself as one of the best full-backs in Europe currently. The Portuguese international has excelled in Pep Guardiola’s system and has consistently been one of the Cityzens’ best players over the past two years.
During the interview, the former Juventus star opened up on how he has been influenced by the Brazilian style of play, with his attacking intent and flair evident on the pitch. Cancelo admitted that he used to idolise Barcelona and Brazil legend Ronaldinho as a child, but also grew up admiring another Blaugrana icon in Dani Alves.
The most successful player in the history of the game with respect to the number of trophies won, Alves is widely regarded as one of the best full-backs to have ever played the game. Cancelo has echoed that opinion, stating that he admires everything the 38-year-old Barcelona veteran does.
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“I’ll be honest, in my position, my childhood idol is Daniel Alves,” Cancelo said. “I didn’t watch a lot of Cafu because I was too young, so I don’t remember much from seeing him play. But Daniel Alves, in my opinion, is the best full-back ever. I’m a huge fan of his work, I am a fan of what he does on the pitch but also of the sense of freedom with which he plays.
“The joy with which he plays this sport, with which he loves this sport. He’s a role model for me in that regard. I love him as a player. I’ve never met him, but I’d love to. I think that sooner or later we’ll get to meet each other. I’m sure we’d have a great conversation!”
After leaving Barcelona in 2016, Alves returned to Camp Nou in November last year, following stints at Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Sao Paulo. The 38-year-old was signed on a free transfer by the Catalan club’s management at the behest of manager Xavi Hernandez.
Alves has begun his second stint at Camp Nou in style, already registering a goal and three assists in just five appearances. Experts have hailed the Brazilian’s signing as he adds value to the team on the field and helps instill the club’s culture in the dressing room.
As for Cancelo, the 27-year-old has taken the full-back role and evolved into something on an entirely different level under Guardiola’s tutelage. He was recently rewarded with a new long-term contract by Manchester City, extending his stay at the Etihad until the summer of 2027.