Cancelo: “I don’t think the criticism affects us that much”

“The Porto match is a final that we have to win”


The FC Barcelona player João Cancelo stated that the criticism from the press and the environment of the team’s game does not affect the locker room as much, although he acknowledged that it can weigh more on the younger players, and he was sure of being able to leave the bad game behind. against a Porto against whom, in the Champions League, the leadership of the group and the pass to the round of 16 is at stake this Tuesday.

“I don’t think the criticism affects us that much. Personally it doesn’t affect me because I’m a little older. We have a very young team. It’s normal that it affects some, but this is Barça, it’s a very big club, the best clubs in the world. And well, we have to know how to deal with pressure, because only then are we going to achieve great things,” he said at a press conference.

Cancelo thus denied that, as Xavi pointed out in previous appearances, the team goes out to play conditioned by external criticism. But he did recognize, as his coach did, that they are not at their best. “There are times when we are not so good, that I think we are not doing things now like when I arrived, for example,” he noted.

“But football gives you the opportunity to gain confidence, to have a game three days later and try to do better. That is what we are looking for, I think we have a very young team but with a lot of quality to try to improve the situation,” he added.

“We have a very young team and it does not have the experience that I, Gündogan or the most veteran members of the team have, but that is being gained year by year and well, I think that, as I said, football is a sport that It gives you the opportunity to improve every three days and that is what we are going to try,” he reiterated.

And that opportunity involves beating Porto and going to the second round. “We know how important it is for us as a team and as a club and it is approached as a final. We could have already done it in the last game against Shakhtar, qualifying for the round of 16, but I think it is a very important game. It is going to be a final and we will have to win it,” he said.

The Portuguese full-back did not deny that the last games have been, at least, not as good as those at the start of the season. “In the last few games we haven’t played the way we wanted, but I think that against Rayo, I think we already had a bit of a better feeling in relation to the last few games, but it wasn’t a game of 10 either. I think we have to improve,” he acknowledged.

On a personal level, he also acknowledged that he must return to his best level, but he believes that it is up to the team to win again and convince. “It is an honor to be here, I adore this club since I was a child, and I am going to defend it with the utmost respect, with the maximum ambition and I can say that I will work as hard as I can to help my teammates to achieve a victory tomorrow. I don’t think either “I’m bad but well, in the end it’s a not so good moment for everyone. This is not resolved individually but collectively, we all have to be one hundred percent with the right mentality to face these games,” he said.

“I think we are going to achieve it because we know the work we do and the ambition we all have to be able to win titles this year; that is what we are going to try to do,” he added.

He downplayed the recent lack of goals from his compatriot João Félix. “The truth is that forwards or wingers need to score goals, but João Félix comes from training very well, he has a great attitude in training, in games, and there are times when there is no goal or assist to gain confidence, and if “If you do it, you are already the best in the world. That’s football and I think João has the right mentality and works very well. It’s very good for us, because it’s about all of us going together to look for great things,” he appealed.

“Of course it is bad news, Pepe is one of the best centre-backs in the world. He knows what I like about him, he knows what I like about him as a player and what I appreciate about him. He is one of our captains in the selection and of course yes, for us it is bad news,” he commented on the recovery of the Portuguese international, who did not play in the first round match.