Tribal Football

Man Utd defender Dalot Euro Q&A: We're ready for this

Man Utd defender Dalot Euro Q&A: We're ready for this
Diogo Dalot
Diogo DalotAction Plus
Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot, from Marienfeld, where Portugal's training camp for the Euros is based, discussed their opener against the Czech Republic, scheduled for Tuesday 18 June in Leipzig.

 

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What he sees as a dream start to the Euros.

"Winning. I think that's the one and only goal. We know that in a competition like this it's important to win the first game. Obviously if we score more goals the better, but the aim is to win."

 

Tactical system.

"It depends, during qualifying we've been playing different systems, it also depends on how the opponent is going to play. I have to confess that I'm comfortable in either a four or a five, I can do my best in both. Then it's up to the coach to decide which tactic is best for us going into the game. I think we've shown that we can be strong in attack and defence with both tactics and that's the most important thing."

 

Voted player of the year by Manchester United fans.

"These individual trophies always end up being positive and, in my case, it gives me more confidence and motivation. I know what I've given over the season and so it was great to have this recognition from those who see me work every day, the people I suffer with and celebrate with. It was positive for me and special, it gives me more motivation and confidence to be here in the national team."

 

Competition in the eleven.

"It's a bit relative. What we do during the season can play a fundamental role in us being here, but from that moment on that's not enough for us to play all the time. It gives us motivation and confidence, but once we're here we have to show that we want to play.

"It gives me pleasure to be able to have that kind of healthy competition when you're surrounded by top quality players, it gets you out of your comfort zone and that motivates me to keep working. I think many of my colleagues feel the same way. I think that only helps Portugal and it's very positive for us."

 

Repeating the title won at U-17 level.

"It would be spectacular, I'm not going to lie. To experience that moment in Azerbaijan in 2016 for the U-17s was special. Winning for our country is always special, I don't think there's anything better. But for Seleção A it would always be a dream, I hope it's possible and we'll do everything we can to make it happen."

 

Best moment of your career?

"I think so, in individual terms my career has been progressive and that's how I like to work. I won't hide the fact that this is a good moment, perhaps the best of my career, but it's worth what it's worth. If I don't continue to prove that I deserve to play... The work continues, I keep thinking the same way so that I can continue at the level I've been demonstrating."

 

Support and pressure.

"I see it as an added responsibility, and I see it as motivation. We don't want to let the euphoria that has been created over the last few days get the better of us. It's time to work and focus on winning the first game, and that gives us more motivation. I think the group is very focused on entering the European Championship on the right foot."

 

Scoring against the Czech Republic in the Nations League.

"I think it's impossible, at least for me, to forget when you score for the national team, especially with two goals. It's a game that will always be in my memory. It makes me happy, brings back good memories and makes me more motivated. The conditions are in place for me to be motivated to work and, if the coach so decides, to be in there and score as well."

 

Emotional management.

"This has to be an individual job first, knowing that beyond the euphoria there's the serious and professional work, but then we also have a very experienced group who can pass this on to the younger players. There are players who have played in many competitions and tournaments, and others who are just starting out.

"There's this symbiosis that I think is important if we want to go far. But we know that Portugal will always be a team that everyone wants and likes to watch, and we have to realise that there's always that responsibility. We always look at it calmly and as extra motivation to be able to take part in the competition."

 

The quality of Portugal.

"I feel there is this expectation, people want to believe that our national team can be one of the best Portugal has ever had. But it will always be remembered who wins, I don't think there's a person here who doesn't remember who won in 2016.

"We want to go down in Portuguese history and we have to work towards that, making sure we're remembered. We may have a lot of quality, a generation with great potential, but what counts is in the end and whoever wins will go down in history."

 

Opponents' games.

"We watch the games, yes. Yesterday (Friday) we were all together watching the Germany game. Of course we're more anxious because we want to start and play, but we were calm. I think it was very good to see that first game, the atmosphere was very good. When the time comes, we'll be ready."