Jota admits he was flattered to hear the kind words from Portugual manager Roberto Martinez this week – but knows it doesn’t guarantee an international call-up.

Martinez has been keeping a close eye on the Celtic winger since taking up his post in January and revealed ‘he’s on my radar’ ahead of upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers in June and beyond. The former Belgium head coach was particularly encouraged by the 22-year-old’s displays in Celtic’s Champions League campaign earlier this season, as well as his considerable contribution in the club’s Premiership title win.

Jota was pleased to receive Martinez’ high praise and insists it will inspire him to work even harder moving forward.

“It’s always nice to hear some words from that national team coach,” he said. “That says that you are working properly but it’s not something I can control. Whatever decision is made, I will be happy with him and I will keep on working with a humble mentality. 

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“I will always just keep working to try to be better. He is watching me but he will watch hundreds of Portuguese players as there is a lot of quality in the national team.

“Whoever is the most consistent and delivers results will probably have the best chance of making it into the squad.

“But it’s up to the manager, he is in control of that.”

As a final derby of the season looms large this afternoon, Jota has an opportunity to add to the three goals he has already registered against Rangers this season. The former Benfica youth has proven he can thrive on these occasions, and it was his winner which sent Celtic into the Scottish Cup final at the expense of their rivals earlier this month.

With Celtic already confirmed champions, there are no prizes to play for when the teams meet at Ibrox. But Jota is adamant he and his team-mates, unbeaten in this term’s derby matches, are no less determined to see off Rangers once again.

“First of all, getting the victory is the most important thing to focus on,” he said. “That is what we always aim for. Whoever scores, I will just be happy for him.

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“As long as we can deliver the result, that is the main objective. It’s what we work to achieve every day.

“It’s definitely a special fixture. These are the ones you want to play in, the competitive games.

“You just want to be the best version of yourself inside the team and get the best results possible. This season has been like that in this game and we don’t want to stop now.

“As professional footballers, you need to aim to be better in every game and be competitive on the pitch. Every game is a chance to be a better player and develop your game.

“There will be mistakes and there will be good things we are going to do. But we just need to enjoy ourselves on the turf, play well and look to deliver the result we all want.”