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Despite being soccer’s biggest storyline of the time, Cristiano Ronaldo‘s second stint at Manchester United ended as a forgetful episode. Ronaldo’s equation with coach Erik ten Hag is now a part of soccer’s folklore for all infamous reasons. However, this does not mean the Portuguese skipper had a bumpy equation with everyone at Old Trafford. In a testament to this warm relationship with his teammates, Ronaldo adulated their skills and predicted a bright future for certain youngsters in the Devils’ core. One such star has also garnered United legend Rio Ferdinand’s praise while the latter gave his two cents on tonight’s Manchester United-Liverpool FA Cup tie.

As per Ferdinand’s candid revelation, it took him a conversation with Cristiano Ronaldo to understand how worthy Manchester United‘s Diogo Dalot is.

Ferdinand adds United star to a dream team, proving Cristiano Ronaldo right

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The Manchester United- Liverpool FA Cup quarterfinal became a talking point on the latest Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE podcast episode. Minutes into the conversation, Ferdinand started to build a combined XI of Manchester and Liverpool players. The United legend’s co-host Yungen asked him who he wanted to play at the right back position. “[Diogo] Dalot. Dalot has to play,” said Ferdinand. “You know I said about Dalot before. ‘I don’t know what he is.’ And I remember Cristiano said to me. ‘No Rio, this boy will be a good player. Trust me, he works hard. He has good attributes.’ He was right,” Rio Ferdinand added.

Yungen nodded to the former English defender’s comments and chose Dalot over Conor Bradley in the combined Liverpool-United XI. Ferdinand rightly regards Diogo Dalot as an improved player. The Portuguese defender’s Manchester United stint is a testament to that. The club went from loaning Dalot out earlier to extending his contract till 2028, thanks to an array of outstanding displays.

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Diogo Dalot’s resurrection in Manchester United

Diogo Dalot joined United in 2018. Though he had a decent start, recurring injuries marred his stint in the upcoming seasons. Moreover, he started to lose his spot on the roster to fellow defender Aaron Wan Bissaka. Ultimately, the Devils loaned him to Italy’s AC Milan in the 2020-21 season. However, the 24-year-old shone in Milan and impressed the club so much that the club wanted to sign him permanently.

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MUFC pulled the plug on that deal and bought Dalot back. He united with Cristiano Ronaldo in 2021. Thereafter, he impressed manager Erik ten Hag and even chanced to replace Wan Bissaka, who had initially threatened his stay at the club. Notably, Dalot played a crucial role in limiting Liverpool to a draw in their last Premier League meeting. Now that the Devils face the Reds in a winner-takes-all clash, the Portuguese’s services in the defensive third will be the need of the hour.

Written by

Krishna Prasad M

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One take at a time

Krishna Prasad is Soccer Writer at EssentiallySports. Unlike others, his journey as a sports enthusiast was not colored by soccer initially. The 2006 FIFA World Cup, however, changed his perspective, as the beautiful game took up a small space in his heart.
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Edited by

Sreeda U M