Manchester City’s Ruben Dias has been named Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) for the 2020/21 season.
The Portuguese defender received more votes than Man City teammate Kevin De Bruyne and Tottenham forward Harry Kane to claim the honor.
Manchester City’s excellence on the road to the Premier League title this season was reflected in the vote, when nine Pep Guardiola players received votes representing 50 percent of the votes cast.
Thinking about his award, Dias said, “It’s a great privilege, I’m very, very happy. I couldn’t have done it without the success of the team, without everyone on the team deserving this award, Defender, I can here be to get this award?
“When I came, I basically wanted to meet everyone as quickly as possible and understand how the team was playing. I knew the manager and the players, I knew a little bit about the club’s philosophy because I’m a football fan and I know City. ” from the last few years.
“I had an idea of what I was going to do and wanted to integrate as soon as possible.”
Dias is the first defender to win the award since Liverpool’s Steve Nicol in 1989. The 24-year-old believes his recognition in front of his teammates who score goals is a reflection of the team’s unity.
“It means something because normally the spotlight is on those who finish the games, but I, who receive this award, are an important example for our team,” he said.
“We work and build our game, it reflects the togetherness we have on the pitch. The spirit that flows through this team with these players, how we play like family.”
After joining Benfica for £ 65million last summer, Dias made 31 appearances for Man City this season, scoring one goal and helping his side concede 14 goals when on the team.
His partnership with John Stones at the heart of Guardiola’s defense, conceding just 32 goals in total in the league, played an important role in the Premier League’s triumph in the city.
After just one win in the first three league games, Dias’ increasing influence on the squad across all competitions resulted in an impressive streak of 21 games, including 15 consecutive Premier League wins.
Dias joins Chelsea’s Fran Kirby, who was named FWA Women’s Player of the Year for the second time in her career earlier this month.
The Footballer of the Year trophy has been awarded since 1948, when Sir Stanley Matthews was the first recipient.
“My father taught me to breathe positively”
At the age of just 24, Dias entered the defensive role of the Etihad Stadium with great success, which has remained largely free since Vincent Kompany’s departure.
He credits his father’s teachings for his competitive mindset and the impact he can have on his City teammates.
“This strong mentality of turning fear into power, turning difficulties into good, turning negatives into positives, is something that comes from my father,” he said.
“Now I breathe it, I breathe positivity. That made me come here and do everything I’ve done so far. This is how I do it, I give it my energy, and I look better every day.
“The mentality has negative points, we just won the title, but I can’t celebrate because I’m thinking about the next trophy. It’s difficult sometimes because you’re so excited.
“We live in the middle of a storm and sometimes we don’t have time to party. When you play every three days it’s difficult to switch off that mentality at the end.
“It’s nice what happens to win the award, win the Premier League and make it through to the Champions League final.
“The next season is a new challenge and as a footballer you have to be hungry every time.”
Carra and Nev welcome “Player of the Season” Ruben Dias
Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher believe the Ruben Dias signing this summer was critical to City’s triumph.
Carragher said on the last Monday night football of the season when he and Neville announced their 2020-21 winners, “I said on this show at the start of the season that if that signing didn’t work, it would work.” the end of city and pep.
“You might think that’s a big statement but he was a £ 65million defender. They never replaced Vincent Kompany and it was a big blow to them last season but he came in and that best defender in the league – and the best player for me.
“He’s like Puyol. The number of blocks he made in the Champions League game the other day reminded me of John Terry. Also of his leadership skills for such a young player. Joining such a big team and looking like the leader.” ” I think that’s very special. “
Neville said, “Dias surprised me and dominated me as he did for someone so young. I have played with Jaap Stam, Gary Pallister, Steve Bruce, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. Dias is one of those who make up the rest of the team turn off.” for sure.
“The effect of the great center-backs isn’t just what they do in terms of their own performance, it also affects everyone else in those foursome and the people in front of them. Dias is extraordinary.
“At the beginning of the season, I didn’t think City Back Four could win the league in any way. For him to do what he did, he was the most important player of the season.”
Redknapp: He’s just a leader of men
“When you look at what has changed from this year to last year, the circumstances of course, but I look at individuals and how they can transform a team’s assets and I believe that person is for City Ruben Dias “Jamie Redknapp told Sky Sports.
“He’s created a brilliant environment there – you can see whenever he’s up a challenge, whenever he does a block, he’s high-fiving, he brings people together … he’s just a leader of men and for you so young man This quality is so unusual, especially in this day and age.
“He has the aura of Vincent Kompany, John Terry and Nemanja Vidic about him. He wants to defend, he’s old school that way, but an incredible defender.
“That’s the difference between this year and last year at City because they made so many individual mistakes on goals and never really partnered. But Dias made John Stones look like the defender we all thought we were , it could be him. “
“Dias is the leader we all need”
FWA chairman Carrie Brown says Dias ‘fighting spirit and leadership demonstrated in City this season were the defining factor in a difficult year for everyone that earned him many writers’ votes.
“Ruben Dias turned heads shortly after arriving in Manchester. A 23-year-old who has betrayed his age with steadfastness, steel, a relentless pursuit of perfection and an almost superhuman ability to read and anticipate game phases.
“Pep Guardiola improves and shapes the players, but at no point has he received a new signing in Peps trophy-laden teams and exerted such influence.”
“Dias has demanded the highest standard, which has led to the fastest upsurges of happiness not only for Dias themselves, but also for teammates left, right, front and in the middle.
“Dias is our FWA Footballer of the Year, both for his leadership on and off the field and for the infectious joy he takes in perfectly executing his defense.”
“I wonder if it is quite poignant that at a time when so many have their backs against the wall, a heart can be taken from the joy that Slides radiates when it stands firm and suppresses the storm.”
“Maybe Dias is the leader we all need this time of year.”
Why I voted for Dias, FWA member Adam Bate
Speaking to Pep Guardiola about Ruben Dias earlier this season, the Manchester City boss explained what the center-back was about as he improved the performances around him. “Basically, he talks to them during the game. He expects it. He doesn’t play the game for himself, he watches what happens in front of and behind him.”
It’s easy to forget that the Portuguese only turned 24 last week. John Stones, the defense partner so transformed by the presence of Slides by his side, is nearly three years older than him.
However, leadership is not always associated with age and experience, but can be a characteristic that is inherent in one’s own personality. It has slides. He had it at Benfica when he was a teenager.
A conversation with Joao Tralhao, his U18 coach, is noticeable.
“It wasn’t his talent. It was his ability to work. His focus. His mentality that he had in every session and every day. His ability to compete is amazing. He is special.”
“He was my captain, but he wasn’t just my captain, he was the captain of every age group he played because his profile is that of the natural leader. He likes to lead. He knows how to lead. He knows how to is. ” the voice of the coach on the field and in the locker room.
“He knows all about leadership.”
When Tralhao detailed the impact Dias would have on City in September, it was easy to be skeptical. This was a team that Leicester conceded five goals in the game before the player arrived at home. It would take more than one man to solve this.
In truth, it was more than a man. Guardiola had to make further adjustments to prevent some of the counterattack situations that cost City dearly.
But just as Virgil van Dijk demonstrated at Liverpool, the presence of a truly top-notch center-back can ensure that the once tactical flaws suddenly don’t seem so fundamental. His great sense of position limited the danger and when asked to do so, he was able to react. In one-on-one situations, Dias was responsible.
Voting the FWA Footballer of the Year is not just about choosing the best player, but also the one who has made the greatest impact, the outstanding professional by bid and example. Dias was the best in his position. He has definitely been the most influential and led by example.
He is a worthy footballer of the year.