Men's Team

Dias: We have to play every game as if title is on the line

Ruben Dias has insisted that, despite a promising start, City cannot relax if we are to win a third consecutive Premier League title.

Pep Guardiola’s side have taken 13 points from a possible 15 so far, with four victories and one draw in our opening five matches.

The Blues are also the league’s top scorers, with 19 goals, as we chase a fifth Premier League title in six seasons.

However, Dias has warned his team-mates that they must continue to be fully prepared for every challenge – starting with Saturday’s trip to Aston Villa.

“The Premier League is the Premier League and sometimes you will get a surprise because the teams are very good,” he said.

City magazine | September issue

“You can see by the transfer market that everyone is getting top players. That is just a little demonstration of the strength of the league and each team.

“For that reason, you just need to play like you are playing the last five games you need to win to be champions every time. You need to have that awareness that now counts as much as the end.

“I think the most important factor is to think that everything can change if you let it. If you relax, everything can change very quickly.”

Erling Haaland’s impact on City’s excellent form so far this season has been undeniable.

The Norwegian striker has scored nine goals in his first five Premier League appearances, including two hat-tricks in the last two matches.

Dias played against Haaland during the Champions League tie with Borussia Dortmund in April 2021 but otherwise had not previously met him.

Our No.3 has been impressed by what he has seen from the Norwegian since his arrival in Manchester this summer.

“I didn’t know him before, but he is definitely a good person first of all,” said Dias.

“Obviously, a tremendous player and we have already had a taste of what he can do.

“Also, to really complement yourself as a top player, you need to have that human side. His personality, his way of seeing life and his behaviour is very professional.

“He enjoys taking care of himself and that is an important thing. Especially as he is still so young; we cannot forget how young he is. I think he has got good habits and he is a top footballer.”

Dias himself made a huge impact in his first months at City, helping the Blues to the 2020/21 Premier League title and winning the Club’s Player of the Season in the process.

Having also arrived in England from the continent, Dias is well aware of the shock to the system that the Premier League can provide.

The defender has relished his training ground duels with Haaland and believes the striker was ready to succeed from the moment he arrived at the Etihad Stadium.

He said: “The Premier League always ends up being a little bit more than everywhere else. The contact is a bit more, the aggression is a bit more, the physicality is a bit more and he is the type of player who is naturally ready for it.

“The more experience he gets, the better he will be able to perform. It is good for both sides training because when you are a defender playing against a top attacker or an attacker playing against top defenders, it ends up being the best way to get better for both.”