Ruben Dias takes over new role at Manchester city from Fernandinho
Ruben Dias, 24, has enjoyed an extraordinary debut season with Manchester City since arriving from Benfica in the summer. The Portuguese international’s outstanding displays at the heart of City’s defence saw him scoop the Football Writers’ Association’s footballer of the year award on Thursday, ahead of his teammate Kevin De Bruyne and Tottenham striker Harry Kane.
The centre-back has been an inspiring figure behind Manchester City’s Premier League title triumph and progress to the Champions League final against Chelsea, which is slated to be played in Portugal on May 29.
“It was unexpected honestly, we knew about his quality but you never know what will happen,” Guardiola admitted in his pre-match presser ahead of City’s game against Everton.
“The manager doesn’t give you the role of a leader, it comes from inside in a natural way, if it’s not real he won’t be it and people realise it.
“At his age, it’s natural, it comes from his dad and mum, it comes from birth, all the mates and managers at Benfica helped him to grow.
“When the defender plays just by himself it’s a problem, (but) he’s always thinking about his partner in central defence, holding midfield, even the wingers.”
Guardiola was not shy in heaping praise on the Portuguese defender, who has so far made 48 appearances across all competitions for the Sky Blues.
“He’s so generous, he’s completely professional, 24 hours he’s thinking about football,” the City boss added.
“He’s shown he can lead. In the bad moments he’s always ready to help.
“He will improve, he listens, he admits bad moments and enjoys and shares good moments with his mates.”
When joining Manchester City in the summer of 2020, Ruben Dias couldn’t have hoped for a better debut season at the Etihad Stadium. The 24-year-old has already won the Carabao Cup and the Premier League title for starters, as well as he has the potential to win the Champions League trophy later this month.
The Portuguese centre-half has not only impressed with his rock-solid performances along with John Stones in defence this season but also made an impact on his team with his decision making and leadership qualities. Manchester City boasts the best defensive record in the division and one of the major reasons for it is down to Dias’ immense displays.
Having impressed by his leadership qualities, Guardiola is right in making Dias a new captain. He joins the likes of Fernandinho, Kyle Walker, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling in the skipper’s group. It is always great to have different types of leaders in the dressing room as it helps maintain team unity and consistency.
Dias, who has been immense for City both on the pitch and off it, is expected to claim the Professional Footballers’ Association award too. With the Champions League final against Chelsea looming large, what a maiden season it would turn out to be for the Portuguese international if he manages to get his icy hands on the coveted European trophy!
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