The Portuguese defender has expressed his admiration for the legendary former Manchester United duo
Manchester City star Ruben Dias has revealed that he used to watch Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic as part of his “dream weekend”.
Dias has established himself as one of the top defenders in European football since joining City from Benfica last summer.
The Portuguese, who is helping Pep Guardiola’s side fight for an unprecedented quadruple, says his immediate adjustment to Premier League football was helped by his experiences of following the legendary former Manchester United duo before he turned professional himself.
What’s been said?
Dias also cited ex-City captain Vincent Kompany and Chelsea great John Terry as positive influences on his career during an interview with Ferdinand for BT Sport.
“When I was a kid watching the Premier League was my dream weekend, I’ve watched many games with you, Vidic, Kompany, John Terry, an infinite list,” the 23-year-old said before City’s 4-1 win against Wolves on Tuesday night.
“From there you start learning and I learned a lot from what I hear and what I see and just by watching I started to understand the league and the way you play.
“The thing that makes the big difference is how competitive it is. Here you get the challenge every game and I think that’s what makes the league different and if you’re successful it’s because you can solve it many times.”
Dias’ record at Man City
City paid £62 million ($87m) to bring Dias to Etihad Stadium last September, a fee which has ultimately proven to be a bargain as Guardiola’s side have stormed 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League.
The ex-Benfica centre-back has racked up 43 appearances across all competitions for City already, scoring four goals including a header in the 2-0 win against West Ham last weekend.
Dias has successfully filled the void left by Kompany following his departure in 2019, but claims to have never been worried about emulating the Belgian’s exploits in Manchester.
“I felt zero pressure – no one could put more pressure apart from the pressure I put on myself,” he said
“People are comparing me to Vincent and I understand why people do it but honestly for me you cannot replace Kompany because of all that he’s done. I have a lot ambition, I want to win.”
Dias will likely retain his place in Guardiola’s starting XI when City play host to arch-rivals United on Sunday afternoon. The Premier League leaders can move 18 points ahead of the Red Devils if they pick up a 22nd successive victory, before their focus shifts to another home fixture against Southampton on March 10.