Fans' Q&A in full: Diogo Dalot
Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot is the latest Red to take part in our question-and-answer session with the club's supporters.
As is always the case, fans from across the globe got involved by sending in their posers for the right-back, and he was happy to share his insight into lots of matters on and off the pitch.
Check out the interview in full in both video and text format - and thank you to everybody who got involved...
“Thanks for the question, Jason. I mean, like I’ve had the opportunity to say a few times now, the journey here at this club has been a quite good experience for me; learning my timings and getting to know me as a player as well. Now, as I’ve said, I always believed I could be a very good option for this club as a right-back. Like I’ve said, I want to be here for a lot of time, playing lots of games. That was my main goal to be at this club. Now, I’m having the opportunity to play a few more games and it's been very good for me. And, about the manager as well, it’s been very good to get to know him; a different culture, different language and different mentality as well. It’s a new page for everyone and, for us, it’s been very good to get to know him. We know the experience he has in football, which is massive.”
Yogeshwar N (Mauritius): What is the secret behind your excellent form?
“Yogeshwar, this is a very good question. I mean, since I started playing professional football, I always try to keep my routine, not just mentally but physically as well, to be able to be at my best level to perform. Especially last season and this season, I’ve been stepping up my level in terms of preparing for training and for games. Whether it’s nutrition, sleeping or whether it's beats [music] before and after training, I would say this has been my biggest support outside of the pitch for me to be able to perform on the pitch. I always try to keep my routines there so I can be completely ready to play.”
“Yes, Jonathan, I mean every player has their superstitions. To be honest, I don’t have many so now I always, and it’s a fun story, before the games, when we’re at the hotel, I always drink my coffee with Cristiano. It’s been a routine now. He actually dragged me into the coffee because I was not a big fan of coffee but now I’ve started doing that. Just to talk a little bit. Sometimes we have too much time in the hotel so we get out of the room, just to talk a little bit and try to focus on the game. Obviously, I hear my music, do my preparations, whether it’s massages or it’s mobility work or stretches, and then be ready for the game.”
Christopher O (Nigeria): Diogo, you seem to be taking shots with your left foot lately, is that something you have been working on in the training ground?
“Yeah, especially these two or three seasons, I’ve been starting to play as left-back many times so that helped me to improve my left foot. It’s always something I try to improve as well but playing actually on the left brought me that ability to work a little bit more on the left foot and it’s getting a little bit more comfortable for me to play with my left foot. Obviously, being on the right, if you have that capacity of coming inside to try to whether it’s shoot, play or cross from the left foot, I think it’s an extra advantage for me. I always try to work on that.”
Oscar N (Tanzania): What is your favourite jersey number and Ollie H (UK): What was it like to take the famous number 20 worn by legends like RvP and Ole?
“Good questions. When I came to the club, I gave a straight answer to the reporter. I think he asked me the same question. My favourite is always the no.2 which, at the time and now, it’s being worn by Victor. So it was not available at the time and it’s still not. Then I was turning 20 years in that year, so no.20 sounded good for me as well. Seeing the legends who had worn the number as well, it’s been a good number. I like it so hopefully it can bring me luck as well as it did for Robin and Ole.”
Luna S (Portugal): If you had the opportunity to be a legend who passed through the club for a day, who would you be?
“It’s a funny question, Luna. Let me think. I’m not going to say Cristiano, as that is too obvious, but let me think. I’d probably say Wayne Rooney, when he scored against City, the bicycle kick. For me, it's always been a goal that I always keep on my mind; the way he scored, the celebration. For me, it is one of the most beautiful celebrations that I have seen in football, especially with the fans behind when he does it like this in the corner [stretches arms out]. If I could swap and be a former Manchester United player for one day, I would be Rooney on that day, for sure.”
“It is a good question and I was not expecting this, Osama. It’s the first time someone has asked me this so I’m going to give my very honest answer. I had a very good friend of mine, which I don’t want to say the name, but a very good friend of mine that helped me with a difficult time I had during my career. He said it to me, not in English but he said in Portuguese, and it stuck with me because it’s actually a good mindset. If you think that yesterday is going to be worse than tomorrow, if actually you have that mindset, then okay, I’m going to do my best now. If I’m going through some problems, it’s not going to be worse tomorrow, it will be a little bit better tomorrow and so on. That’s the mindset I always try to use on my daily routine.”
“So David, my favourite winger? He can be retired now? I always loved Ronaldinho so I would say Ronaldinho but let me think just because if it’s only from now. Now, I would say [Kylian] Mbappe.”
Louis G (UK): Who was the hardest player you ever played against in your career?
“I’m going to say, in training, Anthony Martial. And playing, I’m going to say probably [Lionel] Messi, when we played him at Barca.”
Moses W (Uganda): What was your best moment at Milan?
“So Moses, my best moment in Milan, I would probably say, apart from the games I scored, I would probably say the last game. We won against Atalanta and qualified for the Champions League, which hadn’t happened for eight years in Milan. So it was a big, big, massive thing for them and the feeling I had after that game was probably the best feeling at the club that I had all season.”
Ellis M (UK): What was it like to play against United while still being a Reds player?
“I mean it was a mix of feelings. To be honest, I spoke a lot after that game and said I missed playing at Old Trafford but, as soon as I walked on the pitch, it might sound strange, but the smell is different and so unique at that stadium. I immediately recognised it and it brought me good memories of the two years I was here. Obviously, to see the team-mates, the ex-team-mates and all the staff and the way they received me, that was the most warm thing I could have. I felt I made a little bit of an impact on everyone in a good way. Then, as soon as the referee blew the whistle, I was fighting against Manchester United! I wanted to win, as professional as I am. So, obviously, I was sad at not going through but, no the other hand, to see United go to the final was a little bit of joy after that.”
Rahat A (UK): What is your favourite movie?
“So my favourite movie? I’m going to say it’s one called Focus from Will Smith.”
Njuba G (Uganda) I'm just appreciating your love for the club - I saw you playing with a fierce ankle injury [against Aston Villa] – how did you manage to play through the pain?
“So I’m going to be honest. As soon as I saw my sock full of blood, I got a little bit scared. I wasn’t feeling very much pain at that time but, when the doc started to stop the bleeding and started to touch a little bit around it, I found a little bit of pain. Like we say in Portugal, just bite your tongue and keep going. I played, I don’t know, like 30 minutes just with a pad on it but I could feel, during the game, the blood coming out. It was obviously painful still but, with the adrenaline of the game, I wanted to keep going. We were winning and I didn’t want to come off. I managed to play with the best part of it. Obviously, the days after were a little bit difficult but it was worth it with the win and to play the 90 minutes.”
Mahendra L (Indonesia): Do you think about a full-back can ever win the Ballon d'Or?
“I’m going to be honest, nowadays, it’s going to be difficult. If you were talking about like 10 years ago, or 15 years ago, when you had [Fabio] Cannavaro wining the Ballon d’Or, I mean there would have been a little bit more chances to win it. Now it’s going to be difficult. In football, now, well if you had a right-back who scores every single game and has 50 goals and, after the end of the season, wins the Champions League and everything in football, it can be possible. But it’s normal that people are always going to focus on the forward players, the ones who bring goals and everything. But I wouldn’t say it is impossible.”
Valentine C (Nigeria): Who is the sports icon that has influenced you the most?
“I have a few but I can’t say his name. But he’s a marathon runner, Eliud Kipchoge. Obviously, for the records he broke and the mentality he has. I saw his documentary like two or three times now and, with so less resources he had in his home town, to still be able to train and to do the things he does is an inspiration.”
Christian A (Australia): What is your favourite Portuguese food dish?
Pooja N (India): What is your favourite English food? Do you prefer English or Portuguese food?
“I definitely prefer Portuguese food. I’m going to say my favourite Portuguese food is called Bacalhau a Braz (cod, potatoes, egg, garlic and olive oil). You can Google it and you will like it!”
Faiz D (Indonesia): What was your first nickname and what is it now?
“My first nickname was Digish, it was like a nickname from Diogo. Now, I don’t know. Some people a the club call me D. In Portugal, in my hometown, some friends call me Dallas, like the place. It’s similar from Dalot. I would say these ones.”