Valencia right-back Joao Cancelo, one of the players on Robert Fernandez’s agenda to join Barcelona this summer, had to endure a tragic accident in January of 2013. At the time he was playing for Benfica B, although he was on the fringes of the first team, too.
Everything seemed to be going well until life dealt him a nasty hand. He lost his mother in a traffic accident. Cancelo was also in the car at the time, but he only suffered minor injuries, and since then he has said that his greatest motivation to continue growing as a football is his mother.
Cancelo is one of the three right-backs who have been picked out by Barça’s sporting director Robert as the Catalan club look towards a life without Dani Alves. The other two are Hector Bellerin (Arsenal) and Mariano (Sevilla).
The Portuguese full-back is liked by the club for his attacking abilities and the room for progress. Cancelo is only 22 and is a regular for Valencia, while he’s also been capped by Portugal at various levels.
Valencia are prepared to sell for a fee of around 20 million euros, while his agent, Jorge Mendes, is an old friend of Barcelona.