Man City star Ruben Dias becomes first defender in Premier League history to win Football Writers Award
MANCHESTER CITY star Ruben Dias has made Premier League history by becoming the first defender to win Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year award.
The 23-year-old has enjoyed a stunning campaign as he helped the Cityzens reclaim the title from Liverpool.
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He also scored the winning goal at Wembley last month to clinch the Carabao Cup and is now preparing for next week’s Champions League final against Chelsea.
Dias faced stiff competition from his City team-mate Kevin De Bruyne for the accolade, but he finished ahead of the Belgian and Tottenham’s Harry Kane to scoop the prize.
And that was enough to ensure he is the first defender to win the award since Steve Nicol in 1989.
Overall nine City players received votes which accounted for over 50 per cent of the total votes cast.
After receiving the trophy, Dias tweeted: “Thank you to the FWA who voted for me for this award! It’s a huge honour to be recognised in just my first season.
“But I could not have done it without the team who have been incredible this season. Now let’s focus on these last two games.”
FWA chair Carrie Brown said: “Ruben Dias turned heads soon after his arrival in Manchester, a 23- year-old belying his age with fortitude, steel, a relentless drive for perfection and an almost superhuman ability to read and anticipate phases of play.
“This, while commendable, would not alone qualify a player to win the FWA Footballer of the Year award.
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“One of our founding members, Charles Buchan, prescribed the award to recognise and celebrate a player who ‘by precept and example’ is considered to be the footballer of the year.
“Pep Guardiola improves players, shapes them but at no point, has a new signing arrived into one of Pep’s already trophy-laden teams and exerted such influence.
“Dias has demanded the highest standards which have resulted in the swiftest of upturns in fortune not solely for Dias himself, but team-mates to his left, right, front and centre.”
She added: “Ruben Dias is our Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year for his leadership on and off the pitch as much as for the infectious joy he derives from executing the art of defending to perfection.
“I wonder if it is quite poignant that, in a time when so many find their backs against the wall, there is heart to be taken from the joy Dias exudes in standing firm and quelling the storm.
“Perhaps, in this of all seasons, Dias is the leader we all need.”
PREVIOUS WINNERS IN PL ERA
HERE’S every player to have won the award since the formation of the Premier League:
1993 – Chris Waddle (Sheff Wed)
1994 – Alan Shearer (Blackburn)
1995 – Jurgen Klinsmann (Spurs)
1996 – Eric Cantona (Man Utd)
1997- Gianfranco Zola (Chelsea)
1998 – Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal)
1999- David Ginola (Spurs)
2000 – Roy Keane (Man Utd)
2001 – Teddy Sheingham (Man Utd)
2002 – Robert Pires (Arsenal)
2003 – Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
2004 – Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
2005 – Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
2006 – Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
2007 – Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd)
2008 – Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd)
2009 – Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
2010 – Wayne Rooney (Man Utd)
2011 – Scott Parker (West Ham)
2012 – Robin van Persie (Arsenal)
2013 – Gareth Bale (Spurs)
2014 – Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
2015 – Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
2016 – Jamie Vardy (Leicester)
2017 – N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
2018 – Mo Salah (Liverpool)
2019 – Raheem Sterling (Man City)
2020 – Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
2021 – Ruben Dias (Man City)
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