Men's Team

Dunne and Morrison: ‘Generational’ Dias a captain for the next decade

Richard Dunne and Andy Morrison are well versed in what it takes to be an inspirational Manchester City centre-back and captain.

Both men epitomised what it means to be a leader during their playing careers and are certain to figure prominently in any conversations regarding the Club’s most influential skippers.

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It is a role they performed with distinction and, given their first-hand experience, it is no surprise to hear they unanimously agree that Ruben Dias is capable of doing the same for years to come.

The Portuguese defender’s leadership qualities came to the fore in his outstanding debut season, with his team-mates voting him into the captaincy group for the 2021-22 campaign.

A vocal, commanding presence, the 24-year-old has skippered the side in the absence of Fernandinho and Ilkay Gundogan this season and Dunne believes he is an ideal candidate for the role in the long term.

“The way he has come in and settled in, and also taken that leadership role is fantastic,” he told mancity.com.

“He has the leadership qualities to carry a club the size of this one even though he is still so young. He looks as rock solid as ever.

“He is the leader. He is the captain for the next ten years.”

For Morrison, Dias has everything you would want in a captain.

He is loud, passionate, authoritative and there are similarities between the two in terms of the impact they had on their respective teams.

In much the same way that Morrison’s signing proved to be the catalyst for Joe Royle’s side to win promotion in 1998-99, the Portugal international’s arrival at the Etihad Stadium was a decisive factor in helping Pep Guardiola’s side reclaim the Premier League title last season.

That wasn’t down to leadership alone. City’s No.3 is an outstanding centre-back and produced some inspired displays across the course of the campaign.

He is someone Morrison believes has perfected the art of defending, with our former captain backing him to perform against any player in England’s top tier.

“First and foremost, you can’t forget you’re a defender,” he adds.

“You need to block and tackle and be a leader. Dias wants to go and defend. He wants to challenge. He’s passionate.

“When a top player comes to the Etihad, you don’t want all the people to be talking about that player. You want to dominate your man in your area of the pitch.

“If it comes down to a 1v1 situation against any player in the league, you want Ruben Dias to be the one defending in that situation.

“He is a generational centre-back. He is unique.

“I would love to play with him! His performances, intensity and his eyes, the focus in his eyes, he never drifts off. He’s always animated. He bosses the players.

“Let’s hope in the next ten years, especially when you get someone as special as him, that we look after him.”

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