Manchester City defender Ruben Dias won the prestigious Men’s Soccer Writers Association Footballer of the year award, defeating Tottenham Hotspurs’ Harry Kane and Manchester City teammate Kevin De Bruyne for the laurel.
The Portuguese central defender had a sensational debut season with Manchester City, who played an integral role in keeping his club atop the Premier League points table. As well as helping Pep Guardiola’s team regain their Premier League title this year, Benfica’s record £ 64.3 million transfer helped City win the Carabao Cup and played a crucial role in sending the club to his first Champions League final.
“Those who finish the plays [score goals] They are the ones who get the attention, but receiving this award is a great example of our team and the way we work, the way we build our game. “ said the 24-year-old who became the first defender to win the award in more than 30 years.
Speaking about winning the award, the young Portuguese seemed excited to label the victory as “A great privilege” saying, “I’m very, very happy. Obviously I couldn’t have done it without the team’s success. I think receiving this award is a great example of our team, of how our team works, of how we build our game.”
Votes were cast from a total of nine Manchester City players representing more than 50% of total votes, along with players such as De Bruyne, Riyadh Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundugan. Dias is only the third player to win the writers award in his first season in English football, after Jürgen Klinsmann in 1995 and Gianfranco Zola in 1997.
He is also the second Portuguese player to receive the award. Apart from his performances with the club, Dias is also a key figure in the Portuguese defense line-up, who will play an important role in the next few euros for the team led by Cristiano Ronaldo.