Football News

Anthony Martial was our hardest opponent in Man Utd training, reveals Diogo Dalot

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 20:30, 19 February 2022

Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot has described Anthony Martial as the hardest teammate he’s faced in training.

The 26-year-old French international paused his Red Devils career when he joined La Liga outfit on a sixth-month loan during the recent winter transfer window.

Since joining the record 20-time English champions in 2015 from Monaco, the Massy-born forward would go on to net 79 goals across 269 matches in all competitions.

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However, playing time at Old Trafford has been sparse this season and Martial only made two Premier League starts, neither of which came under current United boss Ralf Rangnick. Hence the move to Spain, which is music to Dalot’s ears as he now doesn’t have to face him during the week.

In a fan Q & A on the club’s official website, the Portuguese full-back was asked to name the hardest player he’s faced in his career.

“I’m going to say, in training, Anthony Martial,” he replied. “And playing, I’m going to say probably [Lionel] Messi, when we played him at Barca.”

Martial would debut for the Andulusian club against Osasuna on February 5th and recently celebrated netting his first goal for the club in their Europa League tie against Dinamo Zagreb.

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Before linking up at the La Liga title-chasers, Sevilla midfielder Joan Jordan revealed he spoke with his former Espanyol colleague Eric Bailly, who until recently shared a dressing room with Martial.

“Anthony (Martial), I spoke with my friend and brother Eric Bailly, before he arrived, and he spoke well to me, that he needed affection and to feel important,” he told Marca.

This approach has been supported by Sevilla’s illustrious sporting director Monchi, who has been encouraged by Martial’s opening few weeks at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadium.

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“In these two weeks he’s been here, what I see is happiness,” he told The Times.

“When a player has the technical, tactical, physical qualities, what you have to do is touch the perfect spot for these qualities to reappear.

“And we think we’re capable of finding this spot. Possibly it could mean more affection, more support, more trust; speaking more to him, for his family to feel settled, for him to feel important. There’s not one model for every player – everyone has their needs.”