Dalot exclusive: Belief will be 90 per cent of the game
Diogo Dalot feels his Manchester United team-mates must believe until the end against Barcelona, and admits he would fulfill a dream if he was to play at the Nou Camp this Tuesday evening.
The Reds are looking to stage another famous European comeback in the Champions League this season, after last week's 1-0 defeat in the first leg at Old Trafford.
Dalot, who came close to scoring with a header last time out against Barca, has not given up hope of turning the tie around and is desperate to head back to Manchester with a place in the semi-finals secured.
We caught up with the Portuguese defender after he spoke to the media in Catalonia on Monday. Read what he had to say...
How important is belief that you can do it in this second leg?
“I think it will be 90 per cent of the game. As long as we keep belief in ourselves in the game, I think we should do the rest, play the game and be ready for 90 minutes and injury time. We then just need to focus on ourselves and believe until the end.”
'We're a team that never gives up'Video
Do you sense that the lads genuinely believe that we can go through?
“Yes, of course. We’ve proved to everyone that no one at this club gives up and we still have the Paris night in our minds. We need to keep that in our minds just in terms of belief and fighting for the result. It’s different games and different teams but we need to keep that in mind to motivate and to be ready.
How much of an inspiration is that night in Paris though, because it was an even bigger task?
“Yes, I think it’s massive. When you think of that night, you just want to turn it on again and come here and do the same. We’re still positive and we believe that it’s possible.”
From a defender’s point of view, facing Lionel Messi – arguably the best ever player – as well as Luis Suarez and Phillipe Coutinho. How much of a challenge is it?
“I think it’s the dream of every player. When you want to play, you want to play with the best and against the best. For me, it’s a pleasure to play against a team like Barcelona but it’s more of a pleasure to play alongside my team-mates. For me, the most important thing is to focus on our team and try to win.”
The Nou Camp is one of the great cathedrals of world football. For you, what do you think it’s going to be like when you walk out there?
“Like I said, when I walked into Old Trafford, it’s the dream that I always dream about. Tomorrow, I think if I play, I think it will be the same, just enjoy and hopefully get the win, the comeback and go back to Manchester with a place in the semi-finals.”
It’s been a remarkable first season for you in many ways – you started off being injured in pre-season and took a while to get going but now here you are, playing in places like this…
“Yeah, it’s what I fought for. It’s been a difficult season so far but I fought to be fit, to be ready for this second part of the season. With the help of everyone at the club, I think I made good work and I just need to keep pushing a bit more because this is just the start.”
How do you fancy a United-Porto semi-final?
“I have dreamed about it! I hope Porto can do a comeback too [2-0 down against Liverpool from the first leg] and it would be great if we were playing against them.”
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