Manchester City

Ruben Dias named FWA Footballer of the Year

Tom Gott
Ruben Dias has won the FWA Footballer of the Year award
Ruben Dias has won the FWA Footballer of the Year award / Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Manchester City centre-back Ruben Dias has been named the FWA Footballer of the Year for the 2020/21 season.

A £65m signing from Benfica last summer, Dias waltzed over to the Etihad Stadium and transformed City's defence, helping Pep Guardiola's side to the best defensive record in the league en route to another Premier League title.

He was a popular choice for the award, and the FWA have now confirmed that Dias fought off competition from Tottenham's Harry Kane and City teammate Kevin De Bruyne to pick up the prize.

“Ruben Dias turned heads soon after his arrival in Manchester, a 23- year-old belying his age with fortitude, steel, a relentless drive for perfection and an almost superhuman ability to read and anticipate phases of play," said FWA chair Carrie Brown.

“This, while commendable, would not alone qualify a player to win the FWA Footballer of the Year award. One of our founding members, Charles Buchan, prescribed the award to recognise and celebrate a player who ‘by precept and example’ is considered to be the footballer of the year.

Ruben Dias, John Stones
Dias & John Stones have formed a dominant partnership / GARETH COPLEY/Getty Images

“Pep Guardiola improves players, shapes them but at no point, has a new signing arrived into one of Pep’s already trophy-laden teams and exerted such influence.

“Dias has demanded the highest standards which have resulted in the swiftest of upturns in fortune not solely for Dias himself, but team-mates to his left, right, front and centre.

“Ruben Dias is our Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year for his leadership on and off the pitch as much as for the infectious joy he derives from executing the art of defending to perfection.

Pep Guardiola, Ruben Dias
Guardiola celebrates with Dias / RUI VIEIRA/Getty Images

“I wonder if it is quite poignant that, in a time when so many find their backs against the wall, there is heart to be taken from the joy Dias exudes in standing firm and quelling the storm. Perhaps, in this of all seasons, Dias is the leader we all need.”

Overall, nine City players picked up nominations for the award, with those nine making up 50% of the entire voting.

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