Summer Briefing: Dalot reacts to Euros call-up
Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot was just settling down for a meal out on holiday when he received a late call-up for Portugal's Euro 2020 squad.
The full-back is yet to play for his senior national team, although he has represented his country in competitions for the Under-17s, Under-19s and Under-20s. His call-up came after Manchester City's Joao Cancelo was forced to withdraw from the squad on Sunday, following a positive COVID-19 test.
WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?
Dalot joined up with his Portugal team-mates - including club colleague Bruno Fernandes. Speaking in Budapest, where the Seleção play their first game against Hungary this afternoon, the 22-year-old admitted to reporters that he'd been surprised by the call.
“It was an odd situation," explained Diogo. "I was on holiday and was just going into a restaurant when I received the call.
"It's a special moment. It’s been my ambition to be in the full Portugal squad for a long time, it's a proud moment for me, and I’m very happy.”
Although rivals at club level, Dalot paid tribute to Cancelo who was set to be a crucial part of his country's bid to retain the European Championship trophy after an impressive season across the city.
“My call-up wasn’t in the best circumstances," he admitted.
"I had the chance to speak to João and his support at a time like this is fantastic. He’s a great example for me, given everything he’s done for the Seleção. I wish him the best in his recovery and we'll all be playing for him.
“Everything that I’ve heard tells me this is a very united squad that integrates all the players well and I’m hoping I can integrate into it quickly and help the Seleção in the best way possible.
“I had around a week to rest, to recharge my batteries from a long season which now hasn’t finished yet. I’m here in body and soul, and physically ready to help the Seleção.”
Elsewhere yesterday, Scott McTominay played a part in Scotland's disappointing defeat against Czech Republic in their opening game of Group D. The Scots played admirably and created enough chances to score two or three goals but were downed by a stunning halfway-line goal from Patrick Schick.
Despite dominating possession, Spain were held to a 0-0 draw by Sweden, who were led by Victor Lindelof - our centre-back was named Man of the Match. The other game in the tournament was a 2-1 win for Slovakia against Poland.
WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY?
Dalot's Portugal take on Hungary at the Puskas Arena in Budapest. Kick-off is at 17:00 BST. Having just joined up with the squad, he's unlikely to play a significant role in the Seleção's opening game. Fernandes, though, will almost certainly start the game.
Later on in the day, Paul Pogba's France will take on Germany at Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena. It's a battle between the two most recent world champions.