Manchester City's Ruben Dias named FWA Men's Footballer of the Year
Portuguese becomes first defender to win the award in 32 years
Manchester City defender Ruben Dias has been named England's Footballer of the Year on Thursday in the annual vote of the Football Writers' Association (FWA).
After signing from Benfica for a reported fee of £65 million ($91.7m), the Portugal international has arguably proved the signing of the season, helping City to the Premier League title a fourth successive League Cup triumph.
City are also in the final of the Champions League, where they face fellow English side Chelsea in the Porto final on May 29.
The 24-year-old centre-back has formed a formidable partnership alongside John Stones, with the pair seminal to the club's record 22 consecutive wins earlier in the season.
"It is a huge privilege. Obviously I could not have done it without the success of the team," said Dias.
"I think me receiving this prize is the major example of how our team works, the way we build our game.
"It reflects all the togetherness we have on the pitch, how we perform and the spirit that is in the team and with these players."
Dias becomes the first defender to win the award since Liverpool's Steve Nicol in 1989. He beat Tottenham's Harry Kane and City teammate Kevin De Bruyne in the voting, with nine players from the Premier League winners receiving more than 50% of the total votes cast.
Dias follows German Jurgen Klinsmann of Tottenham Hotspur (1994-95) and Italian Gianfranco Zola of Chelsea (1996-97) as players to win the award in their first season in England.
Chelsea and England forward Fran Kirby won the FWA women's award earlier this month.
Updated: May 20, 2021 03:42 PM