Manchester City defender Ruben Dias has opened up on how he has forced the club to “think differently” about sports science since his arrival at the Etihad Stadium.
City recently released a seven-part documentary that followed the 2021/22 season from pre-season through to the end of the campaign. In episode one of the docuseries Together: Champions Again! viewers were able to gain an insight into Dias’ morning routine.
The Portugal international, who was the first player to report to the training ground at 8:20am, follows a strict morning routine. Dias’ methods have been praised by several City coaches since his arrival at the club, with the work he does off the pitch helping him on it.
His attitude towards fitness is highlighted by sports scientist Donough Holohan, who said: “He keeps us on our toes and he’s forced us to think differently about how we do a lot of our programming. He works at times when other players don’t work and he has strong ideas about what he can do. He’s great to work with.
“He has strong views on what he needs and he had certain routines that he brought into this building when he arrived. He leaves no stone unturned, he addresses everything he needs to address and I think the success of it is shown in what he does on the pitch.”
The 25-year-old places immense pressure on himself and his colleagues, and believes that the “small details” make all the difference. Speaking about how he has ‘forced’ the reigning Premier League champions to think differently, Dias admitted that it was important to find a common ground between him and the club.
“I believe [forcing the club to think differently], essentially, it refers to the exchange of ideas and a little bit of adaptation between what was the work that I was doing and what the club does and, finding a common ground for both,” said Dias.
“Essentially, I think that this exchange of ideas is very important, both for them and for me, and that is the main thing. Obviously, it is important to do what we believe in, but also to catch the opinion of those who, sometimes, are better informed than us at the specific level of each area. Trying to find a common path to follow.”
Dias also suggested that, with City often playing in midweek and at the weekend, the players’ recovery is vital – even if that requires them to do something that they don’t really want to do.
He added: “The small details come to everything. From food to the work you do individually, to the work you do on the field with the team. But most of all, what I was referring to is this belief that every little detail in every different area, in the end, makes a big sum and makes a lot of difference.
“Essentially I was referring, of course, to the physical aspect, especially when you are playing every three days and the recovery time is short, all the little details make a big difference, whether it is the water you force yourself to drink sometimes even without feeling like it, or the food on a day when I don’t feel like cooking or I am tired and still make an effort to try to eat as well as possible, and many other things.”