Joao Cancelo claims trolls wished death on unborn daughter after Barcelona's defeat by PSG


02 Joao Cancelo of FC Barcelona celebrates a goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between FC Barcelona v SSC Napoli at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Barcelona, Spain, on March 12th, 2024.

Joao Cancelo has slammed the trolls who wished death on his unborn daughter after Barcelona's Champions League exit.

Barca took a narrow lead back to Catalunya ahead of the second leg of their quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain, only to be blown away by Luis Enrique's team. Centre-back Ronald Araujo was sent off and Cancelo conceded a second-half penalty as PSG won 4-1 on the night and 6-4 on aggregate.

The Portugal international is on loan at Barcelona from Manchester City and could yet make the move permanent in the summer. He has played 35 times this term, starting nine out of 10 Champions League games under Xavi.

It has been a frustrating season under the outgoing manager, with a big gap to league leaders Real Madrid opening up ahead of this weekend's Clasico. That doesn't excuse the abuse levelled at players, though, with Cancelo opening up on some of the vile messages to come his way.

"People say all sorts," Cancelo told ESPN. "There are comments on Instagram wishing death upon my daughter who's not even been born yet. They would not say it to my face, because we would have a problem, but in the comments they write what they want.

"They're offensive to my partner, my daughter, our unborn baby. It's a cruel world and you have to know how to live with it. I know how to, but I just don't know what to say anymore.

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"Wishing death upon a baby is really serious. People don't think about the person behind the footballer they see on the television. We are humans, too. We are just the same."

Sunday's match against Real Madrid will represent the last time manager Xavi leads his team out against their rivals before leaving in the summer. The reverse fixture ended 2-1 to the team from the capital, with Jude Bellingham scoring a late winner.

“We have a chance at revenge," Cancelo's colleague Araujo said as he looks to put his midweek red card behind him. "Madrid is our biggest rival and we have to change our mentality. We will give everything on Sunday.

“We are very sorry [about the PSG game]. Obviously, we are all sad, the children, the families. But this is football, there is always revenge. We are going to try again next season. I am convinced that this generation is going to win the Champions League.”

The Uruguayan was also asked about reports of a rift with team-mate Ilkay Gundogan after the German's comments about the red card, and delivered a blunt response. “I prefer to keep what I think to myself. I have codes and values that must be respected,” he said.

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