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"Don't Tell Him I Said That!" - Kevin De Bruyne Lauds Man City Teammate for Picking Premier League Champions 'On the Back' Since Last Season

Kevin De Bruyne has heaped praise on Manchester City defender Ruben Dias for his selection in the FIFA FIFPro World XI, after what was a sensational first season for the Portugal international at the Etihad Stadium.

Ruben Dias and Kevin De Bruyne were named as Manchester City’s two representatives in the FIFA FIFPro World XI at a virtual event in Zurich on Monday evening.

The pair played a major role in Manchester City’s 2020/21 Premier League title win, fourth successive Carabao Cup victory and spearheading their side to a first-ever Champions League final in the club’s history.

Kevin De Bruyne, who scored the winner in City's Premier League win over Chelsea at the weekend, paid tribute to the impact made by Ruben Dias following his arrival to the Etihad Stadium and why the 24-year-old's selection in such an esteemed XI was deserved.

(Ruben Dias has) been great. He came in last year and to be a new player and perform the way he did was massive for us,” said the Belgium international, as quoted by Manchester City's official website.

De Bruyne added: “He (Dias) picked up the team on the back and he deserves it, (but) don’t tell him I said that!”

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It’s hard to disagree with De Bruyne as there is a strong case to make for the Dias to have emerged as the Sky Blues’ most crucial player last season.

Signed from Benfica at just 23 years of age in the summer of 2020, there were question marks over how Dias would adapt to the hustle and bustle of the Premier League.

However, it is safe to say that the centre-back has put all the doubts to bed and completely transformed the Manchester City backline into one of the best defences in Europe - a major shift from the same team that had shipped five goals at home against Leicester City at the start of the previous campaign.

Having developed into one of the most solid defenders in world football after a dream debut campaign in the east side of Manchester, Ruben Dias has earned his place in the FIFA FIFPro World XI amongst the best of the best.

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