Explained: Why Joao Cancelo CAN face Man City in Champions League after Bayern Munich drawn against Pep Guardiola's side
- Man City will play Bayern in Champions League quarter-finals
- The tie will see Cancelo come up against his parent club
- UEFA rules allow players to face parent clubs while on loan
WHAT HAPPENED? City and Bayern have been paired together in the Champions League quarter-finals, throwing up a highly-intriguing reunion with Joao Cancelo, who joined the Bavarian giants on loan from the Premier League side after falling out of favour with Pep Guardiola.
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CAN CANCELO PLAY IN THE TIE? Yes! While Premier League rules do not allow players who are on loan to face their parent club, no such law exists in European competition. Clubs can agree clauses preventing their players coming up against them while on loan but City did not insert such an agreement into their deal for Cancelo. And a City source confirmed to GOAL that the Portuguese is free to face his employers.
WHEN PLAYERS FACE THEIR PARENT CLUBS: Bayern have a number of recent examples of players turning out for them while on loan from other clubs. Most recently, Philippe Coutinho scored two goals against Barcelona in Bayern's infamous 8-2 drubbing of the Catalans in the Champions League quarter-finals. And in the 2015-16 last-16 tie, Kingsley Coman scored an outstanding goal in extra-time for Bayern to sink parent club Juventus. Thibaut Courtois also faced Chelsea in a Champions League semi-final tie in 2013-14 while on loan at Atletico Madrid, who advanced to the final.
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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Cancelo has been one of City's most important players since joining from Juventus in 2019, scoring nine goals and providing 22 assists in 154 appearances. But he drifted out of the team after the World Cup, with Guardiola preferring to play Nathan Ake at left-back instead of the Portuguese. Cancelo opened up on the rupture with Guardiola last month, saying: "I thought I deserved to play and he didn't." And Guardiola appeared to make a sly dig at the Portuguese in his press conference on Friday.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR MANCHESTER CITY: City welcome former captain and club icon Vincent Kompany when they host Burnley in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday. The first leg of the Champions League tie with Bayern will take place on April 11, with the return meeting at Allianz Arena scheduled in for April 18.