Dalot: The World Cup is a special competition

Monday 28 November 2022 07:00

Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot could make his World Cup debut during Portugal’s Group H meeting with Uruguay later today.

The European nation meet with the South Americans in a 19:00 GMT kick-off at the Lusail Stadium, knowing that a win will be enough to take them into the round of 16. 

Portugal defeated Ghana 3-2 on matchday one and although United’s Bruno Fernandes played an integral part, Reds team-mate Dalot was an unused substitute for Fernando Santos’s side, and therefore still awaits his first World Cup appearance. 

Qatar 2022 is the full-back’s first involvement at the competition, but he has a long-standing admiration for the tournament that goes back to his younger days watching Portugal compete. 
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“My first big memory was when Portugal played in 2006, I think in Germany, we lost the semi-final if I’m not mistaken,” Diogo told us in an interview before he flew out to Qatar. 

“We won against England I think on penalties [in the quarter-final]. That was my first few memories but the really first one was the next one, 2010, where I went to the street. 

“We have big screens in Portugal where we can watch the games, all the fans from the city, and in my hometown, we went there to see the games. It was probably my first big memories of it.”
Four years on from being hosted by South Africa in 2010, the World Cup arrived in Brazil and turned out to be a tournament that produced some of the most memorable goals in the competition for Diogo.

“We had a lot in 2014, a lot of good goals, I remember James Rodriguez [for Colombia v Uruguay], I remember [Robin] van Persie’s header [for Netherlands v Spain]. 

“The World Cup is always a special competition, we will have great goals in this World Cup as well, for sure. But obviously, these are great goals.”
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Growing up in Portugal, Dalot is no stranger to players that have become World Cup icons in his home nation either. 

The United man is confident that his country has what it takes to create more history this time around, using the inspiration garnered from those that have worn the shirt at the tournament in the past.

“When you think about Portuguese legends that play for the national team, you have a lot of players. You remember Eusebio, you remember [Luis] Figo, Cristiano [Ronaldo]. 

“A lot of players that represented our country and represented it well, but I think we have an opportunity now in this World Cup to fight to do something good. We have the quality for that.”