Joao Cancelo declares himself fit to face Arsenal after jewellery attack

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Joao Cancelo playing for City - GETTY IMAGES
Joao Cancelo playing for City - GETTY IMAGES

Joao Cancelo has declared himself available to face Arsenal on New Year's Day despite the Manchester City defender being attacked during a traumatic burglary at his home.

Cancelo said he was assaulted by four men who had broken into his family home on Thursday and escaped with jewellery.

The Portugal international suffered a nasty facial cut and bruised right eye that he suggested he received trying to fend off the thugs. Cancelo’s partner Daniela Machado and two-year-old daughter Alicia were at home at the time.

Police are now investigating the incident but, despite the ordeal, Cancelo was part of the City squad that travelled to London on Friday for the 12.30pm Saturday kick-off

City,who said they were “shocked and appalled” by the attack, are satisfied that Cancelo is in the right frame of mind to play after checking his physical and mental wellbeing.

The club dispatched staff to his house on Thursday in the wake of the incident.

City will move 11 points clear of Chelsea in second if the Premier League leaders beat Arsenal.

Joao Cancelo attacked at family home during jewellery robbery

By James Ducker

Joao Cancelo was attacked during a robbery at his home as he tried to protect his family.

The Manchester City footballer said he was “assaulted by four cowards” on Thursday.

Cancelo, 27, posted a picture on social media revealing a nasty gash above a bruised right eye that the player implied he received as he tried to fend off the thugs.

The City defender was at home at the time with his partner Daniela Machado and two-year-old daughter, Alicia. Cancelo said the intruders escaped with all of his jewellery.

City said they were “shocked and appalled” by the incident and that police had launched an investigation.

Alongside an image showing his facial injuries, Cancelo told his two million followers on Instagram: "Unfortunately today I was assaulted by four cowards who hurt me and tried to hurt my family.

"When you show resistance this is what happens.

"They managed to take all my jewellery and leave me with my face in this state. I don't know how there are people with such meanness."

Cancelo added: “The most important thing for me is my family and luckily they are all OK. And I after so many obstacles in my life, this is just one more that I will overcome. Firm and strong, like always."

City dispatched staff to Cancelo’s home on Thursday to comfort the player and his family.

In a statement, City said: “We are shocked and appalled that Joao Cancelo and his family were subjected to a burglary at their home this evening during which Joao was also assaulted.

“Joao and his family are being supported by the Club and he is helping the police with their enquiries as they investigate this very serious matter.”

Cancelo has been one of City’s and the Premier League’s outstanding performers this season but it remains to be seen if he will now be involved in the champions’ Premier League match against Arsenal on Saturday lunchtime after such an ordeal.

He is likely to be assessed physically and mentally over the next 24 hours.

Cancelo joined City from Juventus in a £60 million deal in 2019 and has since established himself as one of the world’s outstanding full-backs.

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