Manchester City defender Ruben Dias wins Premier League Player of the Season award

It’s an award double for the Portuguese defender after winning the Football Writers' Association men's Player of the Year last month.

Ruben Dias in a file photo; Credit: Twitter@premierleague
By Karthik Raman | Jun 5, 2021 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Manchester City defender Ruben Dias has been named the Premier League Player of the Season after guiding his club to an emphatic league title. It completes an award double for the Portuguese defender after winning the Football Writers’ Association men’s Player of the Year last month. Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola has won the Manager of the Season award. Dias, who joined City from Benfica in September, came out on top after public vote was combined with those of the 20 club captains and a panel of football experts.

He topped the list that also had Kevin De Bruyne, Bruno Fernandes, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Mason Mount, Mohamed Salah and Tomas Soucek. Manchester City were not at their best last before season, finishing a distant second to Liverpool. The Citizens looked particularly in disarray at the back as they were leaking goals aplenty. It prompted manager Guardiola to sign a defender. After joining from Benfica, Dias did not take much time to settle down at Etihad. The Portuguese instantly became an assured presence at the back.

Numbers game

He helped them overcome the 2019-20 season blues and established a solid partnership with John Stones at the heart of the City’s defence. In total, the 24-year-old centre-back played 32 matches in the Premier League and also scored a goal. But it was his contribution in his own penalty box that was praised by fans and critics alike. Dias won 23 of the 32 league matches he played.

Manchester City managed more clean sheets than any other team in the league last season with 19. Dias featured in 15 of those matches – more than any other City outfield player. He also helped the club win the Carabao Cup for the fourth consecutive year and helped them reach their maiden Champions League final, which City ultimately lost 0-1 to Chelsea in Porto.

Ruben Dias becomes only the fourth defender to win the award. His club’s former captain Vincent Kompany, ex-Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic and Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk are the other defenders to win this honour. He is also the first player to bag the award in his debut campaign since Kevin Phillips in 1999-2000.

Besides, Dias is just the second Portuguese to claim the award after former Manchester United star attacker Cristiano Ronaldo won it in 2006-07 and 2007-08. He has also got a place in the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Team of the Year.