Ruben Dias Profile
Ruben Dias is a Portuguese international soccer player who plays for Premier League club Manchester City as a centre-back.
Dias has been nicknamed "The Door" due to his ability in defence. He was part of the Benfica team which won the 2018/19 Primeira Liga and the Portugal side which won the inaugural UEFA Nations League tournament, also in the 2018/19 season.
Ruben Dias and Benfica
Dias started his club career at Estrela da Amadora before moving into Benfica's youth system in 2008, the year in which he turned 11. He was promoted to their senior side in 2015.
The 2015/16 season saw Dias make his professional debut for Benfica B in a Liga Pro game against Chaves and join the senior squad for a UEFA Europa League round of 16 second leg clash with Zenit St. Petersburg due to several more established centre-backs being unavailable for the game.
After helping the junior side make the final of the UEFA Youth League in 2016/17, Dias made his Primeira Liga debut for Benfica against Boavista in September 2017. However, after getting his Benfica career off to a bright start in his first few months as a first team regular, he was sidelined by appendicitis for a month.
Dias scored his first Primeira Liga goal in a 5-1 win over Rio Ave and was voted the Primeira Liga's best young player of the year at the end of the season.
In 2018/19, Benfica edged Porto to the Primeira Liga title. Dias made 32 league appearances during the campaign, scoring three goals.
Dias extended his Benfica contract until 2023 despite speculation linking him with a move to French Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyon. On 2 November 2019, he played his 100th game for Benfica, scoring in a 2-0 win over Rio Ave.
After Dias scored the opening goal in a 2-0 win over Moreirense on 26 September 2020, manager Jorge Jesus admitted he had likely played his last game for the club. Three days later, he joined Manchester City for a fee reported to be in the region of â‚¬68million.
As part of City's deal to sign Dias, Nicolas Otamendi left for Benfica for a reported fee of â‚¬15million.
Moving to Manchester City
Upon joining City, Dias said: "It feels really good. For many years I have been watching the Premier League and in these years I have seen Manchester City win and be at the top, so for me to be here means I can be on top now."
However, Dias joined a Manchester City side that was still smarting from the loss of the Premier League title which they had held for two consecutive seasons to Liverpool during the 2019/20 campaign. Captain Vincent Kompany had left City after leading them to the 2018/19 title and Pep Guardiola had struggled to fill the void at centre-back.
Enter Dias, who soon became one of the most reliable performers in a team brimming with talent. Guardiola regularly rotated his team, but Dias remained an ever-present throughout most of his first few months at the Etihad Stadium.
Dias made his league debut in a fiercely fought 1-1 draw with Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United. This was one of the many matches early in the season which City dropped points in. However, as time passed, they began to gather some momentum, picking up 21 wins in a row and soaring well clear at the top of the Premier League table.
In November 2020, Dias was named Manchester City Player of the Month. On 27 February 2021, he scored his first goal for his new club in a 2-1 victory over West Ham United.
"I'm very happy. I'm happier with the win but obviously very happy with my first goal with this shirt," Dias was quoted by City's website as saying after the match.
"To be surrounded by these top players makes it easier. The mentality everyone has makes the group, that makes the team.
"It felt good, sometimes it is the strikers, sometimes it is the wingers, sometimes it is the midfielders, but today it was us. Everyone can decide the game. Everyone is completely involved."
On the international stage with Portugal
Dias represented Portugal U-17 at the 2014 UEFA European U-17 Championship. Two years later, he captained Portugal at the UEFA European U-19 Championship.
On 15 March 2018, Dias was handed his first ever senior national team call-up by Fernando Santos for friendlies against Egypt and the Netherlands. However, he picked up a sprain to his right ankle and had to be dropped from the squad.
On 17 May 2018, Dias was included in Portugal's squad for the FIFA World Cup in Russia despite having not yet made his debut at the time. He did so 11 days later in a pre-tournament friendly against Tunisia, but did not play any matches in Portugal's FIFA World Cup campaign, which ended in elimination to Uruguay in the round of 16.
Dias cemented himself as a starting centre-back after the World Cup, replacing Jose Fonte as the regular partner to Pepe at the heart of the Portugal defence. Dias played all of Portugal's UEFA Nations League matches in 2018/19 and was man of the match in the final against the Netherlands, which they won 1-0. Dias made the team of the tournament for the Nations League finals.
Dias scored his first goals for Portugal in a UEFA Nations League 2020/21 clash with Croatia, bagging a brace in Portugal's 3-2 win over their opponentson 17 November 2020.
Dias is reportedly in a relationship with pop star April Ivy. He described himself as an "intense" character when asked, as per Manchester City's website.
"I think I would say yes, I know it. But it actually is just the way I am, focused on the job," Dias said.
"I was so focused on my dream to become a football player and be at the top that I lost so many other things I could have enjoyed.
"But my determination, it just made me like this, an intense person. I would say it's a consequence of the way I work."
Reported net worth
According to Spotrac, Dias earns around £115,000 per week at Manchester City, with his annual salary of £6million making him the 10th highest-paid player at the club.