Diogo Dalot celebrates United's win over Tottenham at Wembley

Dalot enjoying life on the road with United

Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot said it was his duty to help his former football club in Portugal by buying them a minibus.

The 19-year-old donated the vehicle to Escola de Futebol O Fintas in Braga where he spent his formative years; he explained the reason for his gift when we interviewed him at the Aon Training Complex ahead of United's away game at Crystal Palace tonight.

“I wanted to give them something because they didn’t get anything for my transfer to here and I’m aware of their difficulties,”
Dalot told us.

“I needed to help - it’s my job. I didn’t do it for the press. I did it because I wanted to and they’ve helped me get here. I think we [as footballers] can all help in some way. I don’t think it’s just all about the money, but I tried to help in this way and I think it was good for them.
Diogo Dalot
Dalot felt it was "his job" to help out his former football school in Portugal.

“I remember the days when my dad had to drive my friends and I [to matches], because they didn’t have a van for the players,“ he added.

I will try and help more if I can. I gave them a shirt too and they thought it was just the shirt, so they were very surprised [about the minibus].

“I Facetimed them when I was travelling to a United game, so it was a good moment to see.”

It’s been a long time since Dalot travelled to and from matches with his dad; now he is transported to top-flight fixtures in the United team bus, with the next stop being South London for this evening's Premier League meeting with Palace.

The Eagles are in good form, unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions. They enjoyed a convincing win in their last outing, a 4-1 away mauling of Leicester City, and Dalot believes they'll be difficult opponents

“I think when we play them at [their] home it’s always a tough game,” he said.

Diogo Dalot on the ball.
Diogo Dalot's last start for United was in the away win at Fulham earlier this month.

“Of course we have a few injuries so we need to stick together as always, but this time more than ever. I think we’re going to be ready for it.

“In the last game, Crystal Palace did well, but we just need to keep focusing on ourselves first and, of course, be ready for the dangers.”

Victory at Selhurst Park tonight would see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Reds set a new club record of eight consecutive away wins in all competitions. Dalot played in two of those triumphs, 1-0 against Tottenham last month and more recently 3-0 at Fulham.

Diogo Dalot
Dalot came on as sub when the Reds beat Spurs at Wembley on 13 January.

“I think we’ve had some very good games,” he said. “The away games have been incredible. I think we are keeping the team solid and playing good football and the away games, for me, have been a good experience to be a part of.”

The Portuguese youth international has been adapting to life in Manchester since joining United from Porto last summer, and has set his sights on making more appearances this season after injuries limited his opportunities earlier in the campaign.

“It’s been good,” said Dalot. “I had a difficult beginning of the season with the injuries. I only really started playing and training, and wasn’t fully fit, until December. So I’ve only had two or three months of fitness. It’s been good to have gained appearances, but I’ll be fighting for more until the end of the season.”

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