DIAS PROUD TO BE PART OF CITY’S LEADERSHIP GROUP

Ruben Dias has brought up his sense of insolence after personage appointed as part of City’s leadership group.
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The Portuguese centre-half, who moved to City from Benfica 12 months ago, made a huge impact in his first season at the Club, helping us win the Premier League, Carabao Cup and reach a first-ever Champions League final.

Dias’s contribution also saw him voted the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year, the Premier League Player of the Season and Etihad Player of the Season.

Earlier this term, the 24-year-old – who last month signed a new long-term contract – was also announced as the UEFA Champions League Defender of the 2020/21 campaign.

City boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Dias has been added to the Club’s five-strong captaincy group, with the central defender skippering the side for the first-time during Wednesday’s impressive 6-3 Champions League win over RB Leipzig.

And the Portuguese international said it was a huge honour to be entrusted with the role with Dias having been nominated into the City leadership group by his colleagues.

“Obviously, it was a proud moment for me,” Dias admitted.

“I’m one of the captains this year, and at the same time that I’m happy for the group to have chosen me, what comes to my mind immediately, it’s the responsibility of it.

“Obviously, I like to say this many times to myself, there’s no bigger responsibility than the one I have from myself.

“But it’s definitely a big responsibility and I will do my best to be there for everyone.”

Dias has been an ever-present so far this season with City having secured three wins out of four in the Premier League as well as making a fine start to our European campaign.

However, Dias insists that there is still much more to come with the City squad determined to drill down further improvements in our game.

“Obviously [we need to improve]. And believe me the first team to not be happy with what they are right now at the moment, it’s us,” Dias declared.

“The first team that knows that they’ve still got a lot to improve, that’s us.

“And yes, I think that’s one of our major strengths, to know that even though we might have just done a brilliant season, we’ve got many things to improve.

“At the end of it all that’s the way we do it.

“That’s the way we look at football, we look at our lives. It’s just to be better each day.”

Feeding into that desire to seek to kick on further is the winning mentality engendered by manager Guardiola.

The boss has constantly stressed how the drive to seek to get better underpins everything we do.

And after such a memorable 2020-21 season, Dias revealed that our collective hunger to succeed had only been further reinforced.

“I spoke last season about Pep’s mentality. And I think that’s the answer,” Dias asserted.

“Look at how much he has won, look at how much every single player in the club has won. I’m probably one that has won the least and they just keep on doing it.

“And that’s because the mentality is there, and they know what resources they need to pull when they’ve won, and they need to do it again.

“So, I think, naturally, it’s in ourselves in our team. And we’ll just go for it again.”

The most immediate priority for Dias and City is Saturday’s return to Premier League action when we play host to Southampton.

After three successive wins, the reigning champions have risen to fifth place in the Premier League table and we lie just a point off top spot.

However, Dias says he and his colleagues know the visit of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side will present another stern examination.

“Obviously we know it will be a tough game like any other in the Premier League,” Dias warned.

“We will always expect the best from our opponent, especially that also because they’re also playing against us. So, you always need to expect it.

“And we are very aware about some of the difficulties they might bring on to the game, and that we just had two days of rest, but that for us, it’s only an extra motivation.

“It works the way it should be like it’s just more motivation, more will to do it big, to have two days rest and get there like nothing happened.

“I think that’s a little bit of the mentality of our team.”

 

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