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Manchester City star Ruben Dias has admitted that the inspirations behind his success come from the rivals Manchester United.
The Portuguese midfielder has created a formidable centre-back partnership with John Stones which has helped Pep Guardiola’s side produce a run of 19 games without trailing in the Premier League.
It has seen the 23-year-old get compared to some of the best defenders in the world, including Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk.
But Dias admits that his role models came from his side’s fiercest rivals.
Speaking on BT Sport to Red Devils legend Rio Ferdinand, the City man said: “When I was a kid watching the Premier League was my dream weekend, I’ve watched many games with you, [Nemanja] Vidic, [Vincent] Kompany, John Terry, an infinite list.
“From there you start learning and I learnt a lot from what I hear and what I see and just by watching I started to understand the league and the way you play.
“The thing that makes the big difference is how competitive it is.
“Here you get the challenge every game and I think that’s what makes the league different and if you’re successful it’s because you can solve it many times.”
Ferdinand and Vidic played together at Old Trafford for nine seasons, winning six Premier League titles and a Champions League honours.
Other pundits have kept the comparisons within the Etihad Stadium, putting Dias alongside four-time Premier League-winner Kompany.
But the 23-year-old played it down, adding: “Lots of people are comparing me to Vincent, ‘can I be the replacement?’.
“I understand why people do it but honestly for me you cannot compare me to Kompany because of all that he has done.
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“He won almost everything, if not everything, and for how long he was here you cannot compare him to anyone.
“Obviously things are going well for me, I have a lot of ambition and am here to win as are all my colleagues but I’ve just arrived and I have to make my own path.
“I think that’s the best way for me to show respect for me and for everyone else to show respect for what he did for this club.”
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