"That's the spirit, I just brought more and more..." - Ruben Dias reveals his leadership secrets and success in defending

Ruben Dias has provided Manchester City fans with an insight into his character and mindset as a central defender for the club, and also revealed his thoughts on some of the high praise that has been sent his way from the likes of manager Pep Guardiola and his defensive partner John Stones.
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Ruben Dias has provided Manchester City fans with an insight into his character and mindset as a central defender for the club, and also revealed his thoughts on some of the high praise that has been sent his way from the likes of manager Pep Guardiola and his defensive partner John Stones.

The 23 year-old has had a transformative effect on the City squad since his arrival from Benfica in the summer, that saw Nicolas Otamendi head in the opposite direction informally part of the same negotiations.

Since making the switch from Portugal, many have admired Dias' ability as a leader within the Manchester City squad, mainly shown through his ability to demonstrate communication with those around him on the field, and his intense nature behind the scenes.

This week, he sat down with Rio Ferdinand on BT Sport to discuss a wide range of topics, most notably the praise that had been sent his way from Pep Guardiola most recently. The City boss claimed that the best praise he could give the defender is that he makes those around him better players, and doesn't just think of himself.

On his playing style and the type of defender he believes he is, Ruben Dias said, "I'm just a player who tries to play. I just try to play my role the best I can. It's always about making sure nothing fails, making sure everybody is focused, making sure everybody is on the same page."

He continued, "Many times it's not about saying, 'You shouldn't have done that, you shouldn't have done this'. Just get together with the team and we will solve it for you. Make a mistake? No problem, the team will solve it. I think essentially that's the spirit, I just brought more and more."

Rio Ferdinand labelled this leadership style as 'positive leadership', and Dias believes that this is an element of his on-the-field play style that has been with him right through his football career - an aspect of his personality that he credits to his father.

"It's something that I've always had, and something that has always been enforced from my father. Since I was a young kid, I always had my way of being like to control everything that was around me, to make sure we win - because I'm a defender, and I want to make sure that the team will be there for me, attacking and defending, and everybody is ready to fight for each other."

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The Portugal international recently score his first goal for the club, during the 2-1 victory over West Ham last weekend. The game also saw his defensive partner John Stones score once again, further emphasising the idea that City's contribution this season is coming from all areas of the pitch.

Ferdinand posed a very valid question to Dias: Whether he preferred celebrating a goal, which he clearly did last Saturday, or celebrating a defensive action, which we have seen on countless occasions this season.

"Difficult. I would say 50/50. Obviously those games when you just feel impenetrable and you start celebrating different actions like it's your own goal. For me, I have the point of view of just loving to defend, the art of defending - I would consider that sometimes more important than a goal, because for the team, that represents everything."

Dias continued, "Whenever you don't concede, you're just so much closer to winning. But obviously, I love to score goals, and I know how important it is for the team also. We had the best example just from this weekend [vs West Ham], what happened with me and John [Stones], that is also a very important start for the team when you want to go big."

Ruben Dias will almost be at the heart of any success Manchester City secure this season, with the defender almost certainly already being integral to their brilliant run of form over the course of the last four months.

City turn their attention to Manchester United this weekend, as they look to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table to 17 points.

You can watch the full conversation between Ruben Dias and Rio Ferdinand below:

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