Diogo Dalot signed for Manchester United last summer, following in the footsteps of his hero Cristiano Ronaldo, who left the Portuguese league for Old Trafford.
The 20-year-old has revealed that Ronaldo’s hard working mentality has been a big inspiration to him.
Ronaldo, for me, was the main one. He was my idol from day one. Not because he’s Portuguese, or his style of playing, but for his hard work. When you think of an athlete, a complete athlete, a complete footballer, you need to choose Cristiano. For me, he was the main inspiration to start playing football. Not because I want to be like him, I want to take my own path, but to get to know him and see how he works is unbelievable.
Of course it’s hard to get to a big team. But then it’s harder to stay there because you are competing with a lot of footballers that are such hard workers. When you get to the big clubs, to the big leagues, you know that every day you need to get better and better and better. For me, I think the hard work is the main thing. Work hard and stay humble.
Dalot has also discussed the sacrifices he had to make to get to United and is happy with the reward he’s had as a result.
Very many because, like I said, with all the humbleness, to be here is not easy. To be in a team like Manchester United at 19 years old is not easy. You need to make a lot of sacrifices. Sometimes you need to say no to your friends, to your family, because you need to rest, or you need to sleep. You can’t go out with your friends as you have a game or training the day after. But in my head, I’m always thinking that someday it will be worth it. I think I have that prize right now.
I used to say ‘step by step’. Now I just try to focus on getting my opportunities and getting my minutes, and showing the manager what I’m capable of, that I can play here. Of course, when you lay down on your bed and you dream of the future, you dream of being one of the best right-backs in the world, being a reference for everyone. But that’s when you are in bed. When you wake up, you just need to put your feet on the ground and start working again, because every day is a fight for me. I think that’s the right way.
Dalot was speaking with SoccerBible Magazine.