Life as the underdog reaping rich rewards for Wolves’ Diogo Jota | The Independent

There is something about the underdog which has always appealed to Diogo Jota .“I like to play Football Manager – and I like to start with the lower teams,” he explains in response to a question about the challenge faced by Wolves – FA Cup quarter-final opponents for Manchester United on Saturday evening – to keep together their most exciting squad for a generation.“For example, I started a game with my first club, Gondomar (in the Portuguese third tier), where I was in the academy. I like to reach big levels. I won the Champions League. It went to penalties and I scored – I had signed myself! It was 2031 – I was 35!From extras.“From one season to another, you have to always keep key players. You have to be your identity on the pitch. That is what a club is. You can’t build the squad from zero every season. You have to know you have someone there who already understands the project, the game, to be a success.”The good news for Wolves is their prized Portuguese forward is a football romantic, one who believes in building from the bottom up – precisely the narrative surrounding the Black Country club during a whirlwind five years which has seen them rise back from League One to currently seventh in the Premier League .“During my childhood in Portugal, I would always go to my grandfather Alberto’s house to watch the Premier League games – I was supporting the small teams trying to beat the big teams, no matter who,” he recalls.“I loved the games at the difficult grounds. I would watch the Saturday and Sunday matches and dream I would be part of it one day. I remember Everton always being a tough one.”