Dalot celebrates early birthday present
It’s Diogo Dalot’s 23rd birthday tomorrow (Friday) and the Manchester United right-back has already received the present he wanted.
Diogo has been named in the Portugal squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifying play-off semi-final against Turkey on 24 March and the potential final meeting with Italy or North Macedonia five days later.
Our no.20 only made his debut for the national side during Euro 2020; he was a late call-up for that tournament, replacing Joao Cancelo just a week after taking part in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
Dalot has enjoyed a good season personally with United, featuring in 14 of the 20 matches since Ralf Rangnick came in as interim manager.
Having been selected by Fernando Santos once again, he’s now looking to help Portugal secure a sixth successive World Cup finals berth.
“Yeah. The squad is going to be released one day before my birthday, so hopefully it can be a good birthday present to be in the squad for the national team,” he told us in an interview last week.
“We have a few days off to spend however we want, but I will be in Portugal with the family and I will take that day to celebrate with my family and with my friends.
“Like I said, hopefully I can be in the national team to help them. It would be a very good birthday present.”
Dalot’s wish has been granted, but has he been discussing what he hopes will be two big games for his country with his international and club team-mates, Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo?
“Yeah, all the time,” he answered. “It’s a decisive game that we have to play first against Turkey. Obviously we don’t want to put extra pressure, but the pressure is there.
“We have a very good squad, Turkey has a very good squad, but obviously we want to be in the World Cup.
“I think we have everything but we need to show it on the pitch.”