A summer spent with Cristiano Ronaldo has given Diogo Jota a huge confidence boost but the Portuguese international has warned it will extremely hard for Wolverhampton Wanderers to replicate last season’s success.
Jota was part of the Portugal squad that played in the Nations League last month and impressed Ronaldo with his singing as well as his football ability.
The 22-year-old moved to Wolves from Atletico Madrid and his performances in the Premier League last season earned him a call up to his national team where he benefited from being to watch the extra work Ronaldo does in training in order to maintain his extraordinary levels of fitness at the age of 34.
Like Ronaldo, Jota started out as a winger but have moved into a more central role at Wolves, where he has thrived as they secured a shock seventh-placed finish in their first season back in the Premier League.
“He is a very nice guy, I like him,” said Jota when asked about his time with Ronaldo. “We had to do a song and he said I was the best. I was very proud of that. It was a Portuguese song. It was just the first guys there, an initiation [ritual].
“During my childhood I watched him on TV as a kind of reference for me. Now I have the opportunity to play with him. That was a good achievement for me and of course I tried to learn off him as much as possible.
“The way he works, even when the training has finished he will go to do sprint work, gym work before training, that kind of thing is what you can learn. That’s a normal day for him. Putting extra things in your normal routines.
“You have to gain some confidence, you have to know a person very well to start talking about situations in football and life but he’s a really nice guy. He knows he has a lot of experience in football and he likes to share it.”