Joao Cancelo pulls out of Barcelona clash due to ‘serious personal problem’ as team-mates dedicate win to Man City star

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JOAO CANCELO was forced to miss Barcelona’s clash at Atletico Madrid last night due to a reported “serious personal problem”.

Barca loanee Joao Felix scored the opener against his parent club to inflict a first LaLiga home loss of the campaign of Diego Simeone’s side.

Scorer Fermin Lopez dedicated Barcelona's win to an absent team-mate

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Scorer Fermin Lopez dedicated Barcelona’s win to an absent team-mateCredit: Getty
On-loan Joao Cancelo reportedly missed out due to a 'serious personal issue'

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On-loan Joao Cancelo reportedly missed out due to a ‘serious personal issue’Credit: AP

He gave the visitors the lead on 38 minutes, just before his manager Xavi was sent to the stands for dissent. 

Robert Lewandowski doubled the advantage in the second half before Fermin Lopez ensured the 3-0 victory to move Barcelona above Girona into second in LaLiga.

Before the game, it was revealed that defender Cancelo was ruled out due to an injury.

However, several outlets then reported that the 29-year-old Portuguese star, who is on loan from Man City, did not in fact travel due to a personal issue.

And he was in Lopez’s thoughts after the final whistle as he dedicated the win in the Spanish capital to his colleague.

The goalscorer, who was due to start on the bench until Andreas Christensen was hurt in the warm-up, said: “I wanted to dedicate this victory to Cancelo, who is having a hard time.

“We’ve got second place back, we now need to close the gap to Madrid and fight for the title.

“I was a bit surprised starting, despite not being in the original XI but I did my best from the first kick.

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“We are on a great run and want to continue it for as long as possible.”

Meanwhile, manager Xavi added: “Joao Cancelo is a very sensitive boy, an extraordinary person with a very big heart.

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“Not being able to be with the team today has affected him a lot.”

Cancelo moved to the Premier League in 2019 and has tasted three title triumphs but he had a major bust-up with boss Pep Guardiola at the start of 2023.

He spent the final six months of last season on loan at Bayern Munich, winning the Bundesliga, but they opted not to pay the £61.5m option to make the deal permanent, leading to his switch to Barca last summer.



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Joao Cancelo pulls out of Barcelona clash due to ‘serious personal problem’ as team-mates dedicate win to Man City star

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