Diogo Dalot has revealed some details about the demanding nature of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and about how he has found his time at AC Milan so far.
The Portuguese full-back arrived on a season-long dry loan from Manchester United towards the end of the summer transfer window as the Rossoneri beat competition from a number of clubs to land the 21-year-old.
Since arriving Dalot has made 14 appearances across both Serie A and the Europa League, amassing a goal and an assist so far and alternating frequently between the left and right-back positions.
He gave an interview to the Press Association about how he is feeling at the moment, the possibility of winning the league and what the future holds.
“I’m a self-confident person. I know my qualities, I know what I’m capable of, but if you can’t play, that’s not enough. Now I’m back again to feel the grass, to find the feeling of playing games, winning and playing 90 minutes and that was fantastic,” he said (via MilanNews).
On the Scudetto: “It would be more special to win the title, not for beating Juve or Inter, but for putting Milan back on top, winning the title after so many years. We like this kind of pressure. We like to have teams under that push us and give us attention thinking: ‘Ok, if you lose, we are there’. We are pleased to have these kinds of challenges.”
On his former coach Jose Mourinho: “When he said that I was the best young full-back in Europe? It was a phrase that I have kept with me until today. That he said it is even more special because we all know that he is a fantastic coach, one of the best ever and that sentence gave me a little more responsibility.”
On Ibrahimovic: “He is very demanding with us. He is one of the first to arrive at the training ground. And these things help us to understand that we have to be professional like him, because if you want to win as much as he does, you have to do it for a long time.
“It’s a good way to see if you want to be successful in football, how you want to be in 10 or 15 years. It was a pleasant surprise working with him. He can give you confidence when he thinks you need it. He tells us ‘You’re not doing enough to be at this level’ and if it comes from him, you have to listen to him.”
There has been speculation that Milan will open talks soon to try and sign Dalot on a permanent basis from United before his loan expires in June, though at the moment the defender isn’t giving too much thought to the future.
“Now I am completely focused on what is happening here. When I go home and I can rest, I can watch Manchester or Porto matches and be happy for them, because they are winning and doing very well.”