Manchester United’s Diogo Dalot is delighted to have been called up to the Portugal national squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifier.
Dalot found himself in the squad for the first time in Euro 2020 after first-choice right back Joao Cancelo contracted Covid-19.
He then got to make his full debut in the tournament when Cancelo’s regular backup, Wolves’ Nelson Semedo, got injured during the group stages.
And Portugal coach Fernando Santos was clearly impressed with the United man and has decided to promote him to be Cancelo’s backup for the next round of international games.
Dalot was being interviewed on Portuguese channel Sport TV when he was told by the reporter ‘You have been called up to the national team’.
‘Really? Unbelievable’, Dalot replied.
‘Beautiful. I’m very happy, very happy, you can’t imagine how much. Being called up to the National Team has a special feeling because of what the national team represents, but especially because after I played the European Championship and wasn’t called up in September, now I’ve managed to play a bit more and I’m very happy to help Portugal.’
The fact that the United star has got the nod ahead of both a fully fit Semedo and Leicester’s Ricardo Pereira is a great vote of confidence from the national coach.
Santos has said in the past that he values the fact that Dalot can play both on the right and on the left without losing quality.
It is a happy end to the week for the 22-year-old, who endured a torrid time against Villareal’s Arnaut Danjuma on Wednesday night in the Champions League, although some journalists have noted that he was given little support from his winger or the defensive midfield.
Portugal will play in a friendly against Qatar on Saturday 9th October and then against Luxembourg on Tuesday 12th October in the Estádio Algarve, near Faro.
While Cancelo is expected to start against Luxembourg, the Qatar friendly may well see Dalot get some minutes.