- Rio Ferdinand revealed he was concerned about the future of a Man United star
- But after a conversation with Cristiano Ronaldo, Ferdinand’s worries were eased
- Is it ever OK to leave a game early? Listen to the It’s All Kicking Off podcast
Rio Ferdinand has revealed Cristiano Ronaldo told him not to worry about one Man United star who he had concerns about.
Ronaldo was a team-mate of Ferdinand’s at Old Trafford between 2003 to 2009 before returning for a second spell in 2021.
And Ferdinand opened up on how he had been worried about Diogo Dalot and whether he was good enough for United.
The defender has made 139 appearances for the Red Devils since joining for £19million from Porto in 2018, and has impressed in recent weeks, with his performances including a sumptuous cross for Scott McTominay’s winner against Aston Villa on Sunday.
And Ferdinand revealed he was previously not convinced by Dalot – who is a team-mate of Ronaldo for Portugal – but was reassured by the 39-year-old Al-Nassr star.
‘Dalot needs a special mention,’ Ferdinand said on his podcast, Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE. ‘He is someone I doubted early on.
‘I remember speaking to Cristiano Ronaldo and said, « Is he really that good? ». And Cristiano said he will work hard, make himself better and 100 per cent improve.
‘He saw it behind the scenes so he knew that. I said to Darren Fletcher when I was at the training ground the other day that he has really impressed me.
‘Darren said that he is a worker, he’s going to make himself the player he needs to be.’
Ferdinand went onto add how although Dalot is not the finished product yet, he felt he was on the right path to becoming a key player for Erik ten Hag.
‘I still think defensively he probably needs to work a little bit,’ he added. ‘But yesterday (on Sunday) I thought he was very good defensively (against Aston Villa).
‘With the ball, that cross, if we have players running onto them, the forwards will make the runs and we will score more goals.’
Things have not always been easy for Dalot at Old Trafford, with the full-back shipped out on loan to AC Milan in 2020.
However, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s continued injury problems, he has made the right back spot his own this season, while he has often filled in at left back too, amid an availability crisis at the back for United.
Sunday’s victory over Villa took United up to sixth and made it three wins in a row.
They remain six points off the top four and face Luton and Fulham in the coming weeks.