Manchester United star jumps to Cristiano Ronaldo’s defence after win over Czechia

Portugal got a late win over the Czech Republic on Tuesday night and Diogo Dalot has praised team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo for his ‘energetic’ performance.

The Manchester United right-back jumped to Ronaldo’s defence after questions were raised over whether the veteran would be a held or hindrance to his national team at Euro 2024.

Portugal came from behind to win 2-1 in Leipzig, with late substitute Francisco Conceicao scoring the winner in the 92nd minute.

Ronaldo was tasked with leading the line and missed several opportunities to get his name on the scoresheet. Not quite like the Ronaldo of old, but I am convinced most teams at Euro 2024 would find a place in their squad for the 39-year-old, who is looking to win his second European Championship.

However, last night’s performance was far from perfect, with Stuart Pearce claiming that Portugal’s creative players became reluctant to pass to Ronaldo as the game wore on.

When asked about Ronaldo’s performance, Dalot stressed how important the Al-Nassr forward is to Portugal’s style of play.

“Cristiano Ronaldo was very focused, very physically fit and always ready to score goals,” Dalot told reporters, as quoted by The Metro.

“I know everybody will always expect him to score goals. Sometimes he scores, a lot of times he scores! Today he was very close.

“Obviously, you can see in the game that he played how much he ran today. He helped us with and without the ball, he was always moving, energetic and that’s the Cristiano that we want.”

Portugal also need ‘the Cristiano’ who puts the ball into the back of the net.

They need to be better on Saturday when they take on Turkey in the second match of Group F. The Turks go into the game after an impressive win over Georgia on Thursday night.

Dalot happy with win over Czechia

Dalot, who played the first 63 minutes in Leipzig, added: “We were hasty at times, especially in the first half, in our desire to enter and in our desire to find spaces, but we improved in the second half.

“I am very happy with the win. We reacted. We lost well and rarely had counterattacks.

“We showed it until the end. We thought we would be able to turn the match around. We know that the first match in a competition like this is always difficult against a very complex team with many confrontations.

“I think we controlled the match, but we looked for victory, and this is what we must learn from this match and try improve some aspects.”

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