Ronaldo the ‘idol’ inspires Dalot to follow in his footsteps at Man Utd

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A fellow Portuguese of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is hoping to make his own mark at a “big team” and become an Old Trafford fans’ favourite

Cristiano Ronaldo is an “idol” to millions, with Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot among those using the Juventus superstar as inspiration in his own career.

A five-time Ballon d’Or winner burst onto the global scene while on the books at Old Trafford.

His obvious potential had been noted at Sporting, but it was unlocked on the grandest of stages in England.

Ronaldo has gone on to star for Real Madrid and Juve, winning titles at both, while collecting 156 caps and a European Championship crown with his country.

He is a role model to many and Dalot, at just 20 years of age, is hoping to follow in some illustrious footsteps as he seeks to make his own mark with United and an international side.

Quizzed by Soccer Bible on who he looks up to, the promising defender said: “My answer will be a little bit shocking for everyone!

“Ronaldo, for me, was the main one. He was my idol from day one.

“Not because he’s Portuguese, or his style of playing, but for his hard work. When you think of an athlete, a complete athlete, a complete footballer, you need to choose Cristiano.

“For me, he was the main inspiration to start playing football. Not because I want to be like him, I want to take my own path, but to get to know him and see how he works is unbelievable.”

Diogo Dalot Manchester United 2018-19

Dalot has just completed a debut campaign with United, following a £19 million ($24m) move from Porto, and admits that he remains on a steep learning curve.

He added, after making 23 appearances in 2018-19: “Of course it’s hard to get to a big team.

“But then it’s harder to stay there because you are competing with a lot of footballers that are such hard workers.

“When you get to the big clubs, to the big leagues, you know that every day you need to get better and better and better. For me, I think the hard work is the main thing. Work hard and stay humble.”

Dalot is not getting too far ahead of himself in a bid to reach the very top of the game, with short-term goals being laid out for now.

He said of his future ambition: “I don’t like to think too big for now.

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“I used to say 'step by step'. Now I just try to focus on getting my opportunities and getting my minutes, and showing the manager what I’m capable of, that I can play here.

“Of course, when you lay down on your bed and you dream of the future, you dream of being one of the best right-backs in the world, being a reference for everyone. But that’s when you are in bed.

“When you wake up, you just need to put your feet on the ground and start working again, because every day is a fight for me. I think that’s the right way.”