Dias on City teammate Silva: If you want to win trophies, you need this kind of player

Defender says fellow Portugal international has been crucial to club's recent success

Ruben Dias, left, with fellow Portuguese international Bernardo Silva during Manchester City's victory parade after winning the Premier League in 2022. Getty Images
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Ruben Dias hopes Bernardo Silva will stay at Manchester City beyond this summer, praising the intelligence of his teammate as well as his versatility.

Midfielder Silva has been the subject of repeated bids and speculation for the past three summer transfer windows but remains at the club he joined from Monaco in 2017.

Dias, 26, has a special bond with Silva, as part of both City's success as well as with their national team Portugal

The defender hopes that history doesn’t repeat itself again this summer and that Silva will remain at City for the long term – Silva signed a contract extension to 2026 last September – where he is on course to cement his place as one of the club's greatest of the modern era.

“At a certain moment last summer I thought he might go but I always tell him that every summer we have this series which is called ‘Bernardo is going nowhere’,” Dias told The National.

“This is the third summer since I have been here and there is a new episode every year. I was really happy when he signed because if you want to win trophies Bernardo is exactly the kind of player you need around you.

“It’s unfair for me to say how good he is because I am his fellow Portuguese and we have a special connection. But that aside he is a key player for us because, first of all, how intelligent he is.

“Due to his personality and the fact that he is so funny people might think one thing or another about him but when times get rough he is always there. You can count on him. He has great qualities. He can play in so many different positions. He can remedy so many problems a team might have.

“He is a big personality in the dressing room. He has been a big footballer for a very long time. Sometimes people forget about that. The players know but maybe he is a little underrated.

“He’s not too dissimilar to Ilkay Gundogan when he was here. Other players may get a lot of headlines but Bernardo is always there. The players with the assists and the goals will always get the biggest praise. That’s the way it works. But when you analyse why we have been winning so much over the past few years Bernardo’s name will be there.”

Silva showed his importance again on Tuesday, applying a deft finish to restore City's lead in a 3-1 win over Copenhagen. The result leaves Pep Guardiola's side in pole position to advance to the quarter-finals where they hope to defend their Champions League crown.

If all goes to plan Dias and Silva will be spending their next two summers together, though the defender warns that burn-out could soon be a real issue for top stars. He warns the game could ultimately suffer if football administrators don’t do something to ease the relentless playing schedule.

“It is a difficult question and a difficult answer,” Dias said. “We are most definitely the sport in which the top players have the least amount of rest, but it's our job to adapt and provide and be as professional as we can and just be ready for what’s coming.

“At some point we will be prevented from having at least a month's vacation time to rest. I don’t want to think about it. In the end the quality of the football we can provide depends on the amount of time we can have to rest. One goes with the other. It is not about having more salary so we should play more.

“When the time comes for the expanded Club World Cup which follows on from the Euros and then precedes the next World Cup we will have to see what impact it has.

“Take our team for instance, we have a lot of internationals. At the breaks almost everyone is away playing for their country. It’s a lot of games and we have the challenge of getting our bodies ready to take it.

“As professionals and being the team we are, we want to provide the show for the people who pay to watch. We want to be as good as we can be because of our passion and because of how much people love it.

“We want to give the best show possible but that comes with the possibility that we are available all the time. Let’s see in time where the amount of games takes us.”

On his own situation, Dias says he is content in Manchester and is quick to put down the idea that more players might have been expected to move on from City and seek a new challenge once last season's treble – City also won the Premier League and FA Cup – was secured.

“You could be in the most beautiful place in the world but if you are at work and not happy then you are not happy,” he said.

“Imagine whatever you like: sea, sun, snow, whatever. We are in Manchester. It has its bad things and its good things like any other place but mostly we are happy at work and even though we’ve won a lot we know we can win again.

“You ask me where I would rather be? In a place that I can have whatever specific thing I like in terms of living outside work or would rather be in the place that will allow me to keep on winning; I choose the place I can keep on winning.”

Dias admits if he moved he would also miss the special bond he and his teammates have forged after winning so many trophies.

“We would need to ask Pep [Guardiola] and Txiki [Begiristain] about how much they take a player’s character into account when they buy him but I do have a feeling that in this club you get the player and the personality that comes with it as well,” he said.

“I don't think it's by chance and it does make a big difference because when these tough moments come you know that you are going to have personalities next to you and when you are talking about semi-finals and finals and decisive moments the character is the one thing that will make you move forward and win things.

“You can have all the quality and ability in the world but if you don't bring it together as a team you are left with nothing.”

Updated: February 14, 2024, 9:21 AM