Manchester United star Diogo Dalot, currently on loan at AC Milan, is one of the stars of the European Under-21 Championships and is seen by the Portuguese as their ‘talisman’, having not yet been on the losing side in his Under-21 international career.
The Portuguese side, dubbed ‘the Diogos’ because of the number of players with that name, including Diogo Costa, Diogo Queirós, Diogo Leite and Dalot, are leading Group D of the competition with six points from two games, with England bottom of the group having failed to register a point.
Dalot has impressed despite being played out of position by coach Rui Jorge, who has switched him from the right to the left side. In 11 games for the Portuguese under-21s, Dalot has 10 wins and one draw. A point against Switzerland tomorrow will ensure that Dalot’s unbeaten record continues and that the young Portugal side will progress to the quarter-final stage of the competition.
There is little United representation in the tournament. Mason Greenwood was called up to the England squad for their previous match against Switzerland but pulled out injured. Having lost that game, the Three Lions cannot now qualify.
Dalot is therefore likely to be the only United player left as the competition reaches its climax – a disappointing statistic for a club that prides itself on youth development. Matej Kovar could still go through with the Czech Republic but is their backup keeper and is yet to play a game in the tournament.
The knockout stages will be held in Bosnia-Herzogovina and Hungary between May 31 and June 6, 2021.