Joao Cancelo has the opportunity to become the latest player to haunt his parent club when Bayern Munich take on Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals at Ethiad Stadium on Thursday 11 April. While it is not usually allowed for players to play against their permanent employers in the Premier League, Uefa competitions permit it. BBC Sport looks at some of the previous times players have made their parent clubs pay.
The first instance of this was Lomana LuaLua. In February 2004, Portsmouth signed him on a three-month loan deal from Newcastle, which was the first season such moves were allowed. On his first start for Portsmouth, he scored an 89th-minute equaliser against his parent club. This prompted Newcastle boss Bobby Robson to admit that LuaLua was the last player they wanted to score against them. At the end of the season, LuaLua joined Portsmouth permanently and the Premier League decided that loan players could not face their parent clubs any more.
David Nielsen also made his parent club pay when he joined Norwich from Division One (now Championship) rivals Wimbledon in December 2001. In his second game for the Canaries, he scored a diving header and won a penalty which Iwan Roberts scored. This angered the Dons keeper Kelvin Davis so much that he threw the ball at Nielsen and was sent off. Norwich won 2-1, Nielsen joined them permanently and they beat the Dons to a play-off place.
The next instance was Thibaut Courtois when Chelsea loaned him to Atletico Madrid for a third season in a row. Chelsea said if the sides met in the Champions League, Atletico would have to pay them a reported £2.5m fee per game for Courtois to play. Uefa ruled that such a deal was null and void and Courtois could play without the fee being paid. He kept a clean sheet in the first leg and made four saves at Stamford Bridge as Atletico progressed 3-1 on aggregate. Courtois went on to have a career with his parent club, spending four seasons as Chelsea’s number one before joining Real Madrid.
Philippe Coutinho also had a hand in one of Barcelona’s most embarrassing nights when he joined Bayern Munich on loan in 2019-20 and scored twice and assisted one in their 8-2 Champions League quarter-final win over Barca in Lisbon. Despite this, Bayern declined to sign him permanently and two years later he joined Aston Villa for 100m euros less than Barcelona paid for him.
Fernando Morientes also made his parent club pay when he joined Monaco on loan in 2003-04 and netted in both legs of their quarter-final thriller against Real Madrid – which they won on away goals after a 5-5 aggregate score. Morientes ended up winning the Champions League Golden Boot that season with nine goals, as his temporary side lost the final to Porto. He was back at Real at the start of the next season, but England striker Michael Owen kept him on the bench and he joined Liverpool six months later.
Kingsley Coman also loves scoring against his parent clubs in the Champions League. He joined Bayern Munich on loan from Juventus in 2015-16 and set Thomas Muller up in injury time to send the game to extra time and then netting in the 110th minute as his loan side won 6-4 on aggregate. He went on to join Bayern permanently and in the 2020 Champions League final netted the only goal against his first club, Paris St-Germain.
Finally, Jan Vertonghen denied Ajax title when they loaned him to struggling RKC Waalwijk in January 2007. On 8 April, with four games left of the season, he scored in Waalwijk’s 2-2 draw with Ajax. This caused Ajax to lose the title on goal difference to PSV Eindhoven. Ajax and Vertonghen had to wait another four years to win the title together.
These examples show how players can make their parent clubs pay when they face them in Uefa competitions. Joao Cancelo now has the chance to become the latest player to haunt his parent club when Bayern Munich face Manchester City this week.