Ruben Dias, a Manchester City defender, has been named Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) for the 2020/21 season.
Dias takes the award ahead of Manchester City teammate Kevin De Bruyne and Tottenham’s Harry Kane; nine City players earned votes, accounting for half of all votes polled.
To win the award, the Portugal defender received more votes than Man City team mate Kevin De Bruyne and Tottenham attacker Harry Kane.
Manchester City’s dominance in the Premier League this season was mirrored in the voting, with nine of Pep Guardiola’s players receiving votes totaling 50% of all votes cast.
Since Liverpool’s Steve Nicol won the trophy in 1989, Dias is the only defender to win it. The 24-year-old feels that being recognized before his goal scoring teammates reflects the team’s solidarity.
Reminiscing about his award, Ruben Dias said:
“It’s a huge privilege, I’m very, very happy. I could not have done it without the success of the team, without everyone in the team deserving this award. Only by that, as a defender, am I able to be here to receive this prize.”
“Essentially, when I came I wanted to meet everyone as fast as possible, understand how the team plays. I knew the manager and the players, I knew a bit about the philosophy of the club because I am fan of football and I know City from the last few years.”
“I had an idea of what I was coming to and I wanted to integrate myself as fast as possible.”
“It means something because normally the ones who finish off the plays get the spotlight, but me receiving this award is a major example of our team”.
“We work and build our game, it reflects the togetherness we have on the pitch. The spirit that runs through this team with these players, how we play like a family.”
The Portuguese international has made 31 appearances for Man City this season after arriving for £65 million from Benfica last summer, scoring one goal and assisting on 14 clean sheets.
His relationship with John Stones which has only surrendered 21 goals in the league , was essential in City’s Premier League title.
Dias’ growing influence in the team helped them embark on a remarkable 21-game victory run in all competitions, including 15 consecutive Premier League triumphs, after they had only one win in their first 13 league games.
Ruben Dias joins Chelsea’s Fran Kirby, who earlier this month was voted FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year for the second time in her career.