Lingard thrilled to have Ronaldo back at Man Utd
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Cristiano Ronaldo’s preparation for Manchester United games is “on another level” according to his club and country team-mate Diogo Dalot. Dalot grew up idolising Ronaldo during the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s first spell in the Premier League before he moved on to Real Madrid and Juventus.
The defender first saw Ronaldo live as a 10-year-old Porto fan, when the Red Devils star scored a 40-yard screamer against his club in the Champions League quarter-finals.
He described his countryman as “a big reference for me growing up”, saying he watched his idol “on the internet and videos like everybody else”.
More recently, Dalot has had the chance to see his hero at close quarters, having joined him in the Portugal squad for Euro 2020 before Ronaldo made his sensational return to Old Trafford in the summer transfer window.
And the United right-back says the way his team-mate prepares for games goes a long way to explaining his huge personal success.
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“I think it’s the way he conducts himself and prepares himself for the games,” Dalot told Inside United, the club’s official monthly magazine.
“It’s another level. It’s special to combine the way you saw him before and now you can see him behind the scenes as well, and combine everything.
“It’s amazing to have that energy and that mentality, also, in the dressing room. I think he brings everybody up and that’s so positive for us.”
Dalot will hope to line up with Ronaldo in Portugal’s World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg on Tuesday night, after they both in Saturday’s 3-0 friendly win over Qatar.
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The 22-year-old says it was a “proud moment” to play with the man regarded by many as the greatest to ever grace a football pitch.
“My first memory was when he was at United, that’s when I learnt all about him and really liked the way he played,” Dalot said.
“I’ve spoken many times about Cristiano – he was a big reference for me growing up and then having the opportunity to meet him in the national team, and now being his team-mate.
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“It’s a very good achievement for me too because when you grow up you want to play with the best and, playing with the best, it’s a very proud moment in my career.”
Of the night he watched Ronaldo score that screamer against Porto, Dalot said: “The first time I saw him was in Porto when he scored that goal from almost 100 yards.
“I was in the stands behind the goal and obviously I wasn’t too happy because I was supporting Porto, but it was my first memory seeing him live.
“I tried to reach him when I was a kid and he was in the national team but my first memory is that game.
“Afterwards it’s watching him on the internet and videos like everybody else.”
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