The secret behind Dalot's good form
Manchester United right-back Diogo Dalot has revealed the changes in his preparation that have helped him perform consistently at his best for the Reds.
The Portugal international spent last season on loan at AC Milan, playing against us in the Europa League, but has racked up 20 appearances this term and helped the team defeat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 last time out.
He took part in our latest Fans' Q&A and, when asked for the secret behind his impressive run of form, the defender provided a detailed response which included a change in his pre-match routine - having a coffee and a chat with pal Cristiano Ronaldo.
"Since I started playing professional football, I always try to keep my routine," he told us. "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.”
In terms of specific rituals and routines, in order to always be fully focused on the task in hand, Diogo likes to be relaxed in the build-up to games - especially when there is some time to kill in the team hotel.
"I mean every player has their superstitions," he said. "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.”
Look out for the full interview with Diogo as he answers questions on a wide variety of topics from supporters across the globe.
Thank you to Yogeshwar N from Mauritius and Jonathan D from Namibia for the posers put to the full-back above about his form and pre-match routine.