Diogo Jota revels in his "highest moment" as Portugal’s stand-in for Ronaldo

Diogo Jota says starring for Portugal in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo was the "highest moment" of his career so far.

The Liverpool forward, who signed for the Reds from Wolves last month in a deal which could end up cost £45million, said his brace against Sweden felt even better than his move to Anfield, while he also managed to record an assist for Bernardo Silva in a 3-0 win.

With Ronaldo absent after testing positive for coronavirus, Jota was given just his second start in attack by Portugal boss Fernando Santos.

He responded with a goal in each half as Portugal went top of their Nations League group.

"It was an excellent night, and one of my best performances for my country," Jota told reporters after the match.

"We had a great result against a Sweden side that is not easy to play against, so we can be proud.

"The coach chooses the eleven for each game. I did my best on the field.

"There was no pressure to replace Ronaldo. We are professionals and, if the boss chooses eleven players to enter the field, these are the ones who have to work.

"I think this is my highest moment. Joining Liverpool was a big step in my career, and today I started again in the national team, I have to keep doing my best."

Jota – who scored on his Liverpool Premier League debut against Arsenal – will now return to Merseyside and will hope to be involved in Sunday's Merseyside derby against Everton at Goodison Park.

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