Men's Team

We are all in this together, says Dias

As City build up to Saturday’s huge Champions League final, Ruben Dias says the winning desire and mentality that has characterised his first season at the Club has been mirrored by the forging of a close bond with his Etihad team-mates.

A remarkable season like no other for Dias and his City colleagues culminates with this weekend’s first-ever Champions League final appearance against Chelsea in Dias’s native Portugal.

The 24-year-old centre half is set to be a vital figure at the heart of the City defence for what is arguably the biggest game in the Club’s history.

Such has been his impact, Dias was named Football Writers' Player of the Year last week as well as also been voted as City's Etihad Player of the Season.

And ahead of the clash with our Premier League rivals, Dias gave an insight into his mindset, hunger for success along with how he had established a close rapport with his everyone inside the Etihad dressing room.

“Since I began playing football, I’ve always been most concerned about winning and winning at all costs,” Dias asserted.

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“Whatever needs to happen, whoever I need to shout to, whatever I need to do to motivate or bring everyone together, to make everyone around me better, I will do it.

“I will learn how to speak to everybody. For every different person, you need to speak in different ways.

“I’ve had to improve my talent through the years but for me, it’s 50-50 – I had to improve my game technically, but I also had to improve my game in terms of relationships with everyone else.

“At the end, football is a collective sport, not an individual sport.

“You have many things to learn from individual sports, but our sport is more complete. It requires more capacities from you, and I’ve always tried to build on that, to be better on those chapters.

“It has always been part of my game to help whoever I am playing with – whether it’s the centre-back, right-back… everyone.

“At the end, on the pitch, it’s about correcting what we feel is not right.”

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It has already been an extraordinary season for both Dias and City.

Having only moved to the Etihad from Benfica in late September of last year, the Portuguese international has gone to become an integral part of Pep Guardiola’s squad.

The 24-year-old has already tasted both Premier League and Carabao Cup glory in his first year at the Club.

But such has been the relentless nature of this campaign, with City playing three games every week virtually all season long, Dias admits there has been little time to dwell on the squad’s remarkable achievements.

“That mentality right now, it has positives and negatives. We have won the Premier League title but I can’t celebrate it enough because I’m already thinking about the next title,” Dias revealed.

“It’s difficult sometimes because you’re just into it.

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“I heard someone at the Club say not long ago: ‘We live in the middle of the storm!’ Sometimes, we don’t even have time to celebrate or think too much about things. We just move on.

“After you play a season, game after game every three days, the mentality is just that and it’s hard to shut off. We must not shut off. We just let it go.

“It’s beautiful what is happening - especially to win the Premier League and be in the Champions League Final.

“But next year, it will be a new challenge, a new season and as a footballer, you need to be hungry every time.”

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