Portuguese defender Dias has been an integral part of Manchester City’s incredible winning run, which they stretched to 21 games following a 4-1 win against Wolves on Tuesday night.
The 23-year-old was signed from Benfica last summer and has looked assured in central defence, predominantly alongside John Stones, and Dias listed the United pair and John Terry as defenders he looked up to when he was younger.
Ruben Dias has had an excellent first year at Man City since his summer transfer from Benfica
The City centre back listed Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic as players he watched as a kid
Dias told BT Sport, in conversation with Ferdinand before the win against Wolves: ‘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.
‘From there you start learning and I learnt 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.’
Former Chelsea winger Joe Cole noted at the weekend that Dias’ partnership with Stones could be as good as Ferdinand and Vidic’s during their heyday at Old Trafford.
Dias also insisted he does not see himself as a replacement for club legend Vincent Kompany, who left the club in 2019 having led the club to their fourth Premier League title.
Dias’ partnership with John Stones was praised by Joe Cole after both scored at the weekend
‘I felt zero pressure – no one could put more pressure apart from the pressure I put on myself,’ Dias added.
‘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 played 90 minutes again, this time alongside Aymeric Laporte, as City beat Wolves on Tuesday to stretch their lead at the top of the Premier League table to 15 points.
Dias says he understood why people have made comparisons with Vincent Kompany