Pep Guardiola compares Joao Cancelo to Philipp Lahm

Pep Guardiola compares Manchester City ‘diamond’ Joao Cancelo to his former Bayern Munich star Philipp Lahm…claiming the Portugal international has the ‘quality’ to replicate the ‘best player’ in the world

  • Pep Guardiola has referred to Joao Cancelo as Manchester City’s ‘diamond’
  • Guardiola also compared Cancelo to his former Bayern Munich star Philipp Lahm
  • He said Cancelo has the ‘quality’ to become as good as the former Germany star
  • Guardiola also said that Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden have what it takes to excel 

Pep Guardiola has compared Manchester City ‘diamond’ Joao Cancelo to his former Bayern Munich player Philipp Lahm, one of the most successful defenders in history.

Cancelo has been City’s stand-out performer this season with eight clean sheets, a couple of goals and two match-winning assists against Manchester United before the international break.

Like Lahm, who won every trophy including the World Cup and Champions League, the versatile Cancelo can operate at right or left-back and could eventually follow the German legend into midfield.

Pep Guardiola (L) has compared Manchester City ‘diamond’ Joao Cancelo (R) to his former Bayern Munich player Philipp Lahm, one of the most successful defenders in history

Cancelo has been City’s stand-out performer this season with eight clean sheets, a couple of goals and two match-winning assists against Manchester United before the international break

‘Right now, Joao is playing like Philipp at Bayern Munich when we were together,’ said Guardiola. ‘Lahm was the best player I saw in my life moving inside from full-back close to the holding midfield player.

‘Joao has the quality to do that. His natural position is on the right but he can play both sides, no problem. He can play perfectly with either foot.

‘He has one huge quality, he would play football 24 hours a day, he loves it. When you find a player like that, like Riyad (Mahrez) or Phil Foden, you have a diamond on your hands.’

Like Lahm (above), the versatile Cancelo can operate at right or left-back and could eventually follow the German legend into midfield

The former German star won every trophy including the World Cup and Champions League

Cancelo, 27, initially struggled in England following his £60million move from Juventus in 2019 but Guardiola believes the current enthusiasm among his squad is why City are able to challenge for trophies every season.

‘I see them like little boys playing in the street when they are eight or nine years old. It is why Joao has been consistent. To win the Premier League you have to be a machine, to be consistent every three days. The best players always play it as professionals like they did as amateurs.

‘It’s because they enjoy it so much. In their lives there is not another thing more important.’

City are on the shoulders of the Premier League leaders despite not having an orthodox centre-forward. Though they comfortably beat Manchester United 2-0 a fortnight ago, their last home game against Crystal Palace ended in defeat meaning today’s return to The Etihad facing Everton takes on greater importance, with PSG then arriving on Wednesday.

One of the reasons Guardiola has been able to use Cancelo at left-back is the form of Kyle Walker (above) on the right as he takes on the manager’s philosophy

Guardiola also said that Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden (above) have what it takes to excel

One of the reasons Guardiola has been able to use Cancelo at left-back is the form of Kyle Walker on the right as he takes on the manager’s philosophy.

‘What I am so delighted about is that after one or two years, Kyle is improving in that position,’ said Guardiola.

‘The last game for us was one of the best Kyle has played since we were together. He is another type of player with his physicality that you have on the outside but playing inside you need special qualities and I am very pleased with what he is doing in the last month with us.’




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