'He's written a piece of football history' - Cancelo hails 'legend' Dani Alves

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The Portuguese defender says the Paris Saint-Germain full-back has long been someone he looks up to as he looks to make progress at Juventus

Joao Cancelo pointed to Dani Alves as his footballing idol, saying the Brazilian right-back will be remembered as a "legend" when all is said and done.

Cancelo is currently featuring for one of the Paris Saint-Germain defender's former clubs, Juventus, having joined from Valencia last summer.

Alves is the most decorated defender in Europe, having amassed 42 trophies throughout his illustrious career while becoming one of the most deadly attacking defenders of a generation.

An attacking full-back himself, Cancelo has made 31 appearances for Juventus, helping the club secure yet another Scudetto despite falling short of Champions League glory.

The 24-year-old Portuguese defender says he sees the former Barcelona and Sevilla star as a footballing idol, one who plays a style that he wishes to model with Juventus in the years to come.

"Without a doubt my reference point is Dani Alves," Cancelo told Goal and DAZN.

"I’ve been an admirer of his ever since I started playing football. I’ve been following him since he played for Sevilla.

"He’s written a piece of football history and I think that once he retires he will be regarded as a legend."

Like his idol Alves, Cancelo has experience playing in both Italy and Spain, having featured for Valencia from 2015 to 2017 before joining Inter on loan last season.

His time with Inter proved to be a springboard towards a permanent move to Juventus, and Cancelo says his experiences in both countries have proven quite different.

"When I first came to Italy it was a radical change for me, as I was coming from Spain, where people favour technique more, while here in Italy the most important thing is the tactical element," he said.

"At that time Luciano Spalletti helped me out a lot, especially when it came to the defensive side of my game. I thank him a lot for what he did for me, those months at Inter were very important for me.

"That allowed me to come to Juventus, which has always been the best club in Italy.

"I’m here with Mister Allegri, one of the best in the world, a fantastic person from whom I still have so much left to learn."

Juventus face Atalanta on Sunday as they prepare for their penultimate game of the Serie A season, with the Turin giants having already secured an eight-successive title.
 

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