HesGoal.Pro Sports News > News > Diogo Dalot of Manchester United talks about working with Ralf Rangnick, learning at Porto, and facing Atlético de Madrid in the final 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

Diogo Dalot of Manchester United talks about working with Ralf Rangnick, learning at Porto, and facing Atlético de Madrid in the final 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

Diego Dalot, who joined Manchester United from Porto in 2018, has had to fight for playing time throughout his time there, but the 22-year-old is still hungry for involvement.

As his side prepare to welcome Atlético de Madrid in their UEFA Champions League round of 16 decider, with the sides locked at 1-1 after the first leg, the Portugal international discusses Ralf Rangnick's tactics, being a cheeky ball boy at Porto, and why some wise words from Tom Hanks have helped to keep his struggles in perspective.

On Atlético Madrid's mentality

Man. United drew 1-1 with Atlético Madrid.

When I think of Atlético, I don't know them from the inside, but I can see their ideals, the way they express themselves, and their ambition from the outside. We have a word in Portuguese to describe this desire to win every single ball, hunting down everyone, defending... being there for 90 minutes, fighting for each other and trying to win every single ball as if it was the last.

We must be prepared for anything, because they are a superb squad in both the Liga and the Champions League. They've had a tremendous season and have proven what they're capable of over the last few years. I'm sure it'll be a thrilling game to watch, and maybe we'll come out on top.

In 2018, Diogo Dalot played for Porto against Liverpool. Getty Images

When it came to rising through the ranks at Porto,

Every young player who grows up at a renowned club such as Porto must learn the club's principles. When I say values, I'm referring to how you should work every day, how you should approach every game, every session. From the age of ten, I was lucky enough to grow up in this setting. It's about being professional every day, about having the passion you need for every game, every training session, and about feeling the excitement from the fans.

Tips and tricks for being a ball boy

The story of Man. United's group stage

To be honest, at Porto we had a rule: every time you threw the ball to a Porto player, you had to be quick. But then to the opposition, you'd have to throw it slowly on the floor, sometimes take a little bit longer. These are the small things that you learn from a young age [...] sometimes being a little bit cheeky here and there.

For example, I remember – I don't know if it was last season – against Tottenham, a ball boy threw it very quickly to their player. I love to see these things because it shows that [the ball boys] are feeling the game, they are understanding the game and they are connected.

On working with Ralf Rangnick

All of Manchester United's group stage goals

Ralf talks a lot about anticipation and being proactive, and that's one of the things that I've been trying to work on the most because sometimes being at the right place at the right time can stop you making mistakes.

We have a demanding type of game, a demanding style of play; you want to press really high, but you also want to be careful with balance at the back. Then when you have the ball, you have to play forward, you have to be intense, you have to help the team in the last third as a full-back. However, you also have to be ready to defend as well. It's demanding, but we're at a club where everything is demanding. Everything is the highest level, highly competitive.

On competing for a place in the team

Diogo Dalot celebrates with Marcus Rashford Visionhaus/Getty Images

Competition only brings you good things. Whether it's that you need to push a little more so you can play or whether it's that you're playing and you cannot stop because you have someone that wants to take your place. At the end of the day, if that competition is healthy and for the greater good of the team, everybody's going to win.

I can understand that sometimes when players are not playing, they feel down or they're not so good in training, and I've been there, I've felt it as well. It's funny, I saw a video from, I think it was Tom Hanks. He was saying that if you feel great, if you feel good, 'This too shall pass', and if you feel lonely, if you're not playing, 'This too shall pass'.

So time is our ally at this moment as I've said many times before, especially during these last two seasons at Manchester United, where I haven't had as much game time as I've wanted, but also through injuries. But I feel like these last couple of months, and especially last season, helped me to turn that into a positive and get going again.


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