It is through this dedication to football, along with his natural talent, that Dias has built a reputation as one of the best defenders in the world, winning the Premier League twice with Manchester City and now playing a part in football. present at the 2022 World Cup with Portugal.
“It’s definitely going to be a special moment,” he said, heading into the tournament.
“I had the opportunity to attend the 2018 World Cup in Russia. And I definitely felt a different perspective because looking at it from the outside is one thing, you know how big it is, but then to actually live and be there, that’s just another.
“As a player, that’s probably the biggest [trophy] you can achieve. It’s not fair to put into words, to be honest, the feeling you must have after finishing it.”
Dias was included in the Portugal squad in 2018 but the 21-year-old was injured and did not feature in any matches.
This time around, he will be an important player for Option as it navigates a group that includes Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea, aiming to mark the flourishing of what could be the final World Cup for its ‘golden generation’.
39-year-old Pepe, 36-year-old João Moutinho, and of course, 37-year-old Portuguese talisman Cristiano Ronaldo with waning strength and a troubled club career afterward. his departure from Manchester United.
“First day of meeting [Ronaldo]really trained with him, he just won the Champions League,” recalls Dias.
“I still remember that day we were training as usual. And then you just see why he is where he is. You know, the way he does things, one by one, the detail, the dedication.”
Dias infuses a similar spirit. His friend and teammate at City and Portugal, Bernardo Silva, told CNN Sport that “he’s like 100% football,” always working for the team and trying to help his teammates.
“Football for me is everything,” Dias said. “That’s life. It’s happiness. It’s dealing with everything from the great to the worst in the world, dealing with all kinds of emotions.
“It is preparation for my future, it is preparation for one day I have a family. I am becoming a better man myself. Like many other professions, but for me football is a big example of life because you have it all in football.”
Despite being only 25 years old, Dias has already built a legacy at the Etihad Stadium, proving he is a key member of Manchester City’s all-conquering squad.
After his first season with the club in 2020/21, he has won numerous individual awards – Premier League Player of the Season, Football Writers’ Player of the Year and Bridge. Etihad Player of the Season – and hailed as part of City’s leadership team.
“In the end, I think it all depends on what’s deep inside you, what’s deep inside your head, your subconscious, the things you do just because those are other things you feel like doing.” he say.
But family, like football, was everything to Dias, he said, who later tried to copy his mother’s recipes. arroz de pato – Portuguese duck rice – with my brother.
He added: “You can achieve all the success in the world alone. “But if you have no one to share it with, what is it for?”