Monday 28 September 2020
On the same night that witnessed the historic fall of Manchester City, led by Spanish coach Pep Guardiola, with five goals to two against Leicester City, Benfica announced, in an official statement, that it had reached an agreement with the English club, regarding the transfer of its defender Robin Diaz.
The English team, whose score stopped at three points in the Premier League, after falling to Leicester in the third round, suffered from disastrous defensive mistakes in the past seasons, prompting Manchester City’s management to support its Catalan coach with huge defensive deals in recent years, whose value exceeded 340 million pounds. Sterling.
Guardiola, since assuming the technical leadership of the famous “Citizens” team, has contracted with John Stones, Oleksandr Zenchenko, Emeric LaPorte, Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker, Daniilo, Golo Cancelo, Angelino and Nathan Aki, before contracting with Diaz, but the team’s defensive problems do not stop since then. now.
British reports confirmed that Guardiola targeted the veteran Senegalese defender Calido Coulibaly, the Italian team’s defender, Napoli, and also followed the young Frenchman, Julie Conde, the defender of the Seville team, before settling on the contract with Diaz, who mentioned Benficas statement that Manchester City will pay 68 million euros for winning his services, including Obtaining the services of the Argentine, Nicolas Otamendi.
The Portuguese capital club’s statement also added that his contract with Manchester City regarding the transfer of Diaz includes a set of incentives worth 3.6 million euros, depending on the levels that the player will present, and the results of the English team during the next stage.
In light of the fluctuating levels and the many injuries suffered by John Stones, and the low ceiling of hopes that the English club places on former Bournemouth defender Nathan Aky, Emeric LaPorte is the most prominent element of Guardiola at the heart of the defense, which prompted the Catalan coach to search for his suitable partner, hoping to reach To a combination that saves his ambitions during the coming period.
Laporte, on the left side, participates in the heart of Manchester City’s defense, thanks to his mastery of playing with the left foot, prompting Guardiola to search for a partner who is good at playing with the right foot, which he found in 23-year-old Diaz.
Diaz is a graduate of the Benfica Academy, which has become the most successful in the world in the twenty-first century, after the Portuguese giant’s treasury revived by hundreds of millions in exchange for selling many of the team’s talents to major clubs, and the Portuguese defender wore the first team shirt in 2017, after playing two seasons with the reserve team shirt.
The 1.87-meter defender participated in 137 matches with Benfica in various competitions, scored 12 goals and made 6 goals, and showed distinctive leadership features that qualified him to wear the “captain” armband in my confrontation with Benfica against Olympique Lyon in the European Champions League last season. .
One of the most prominent points that impressed Guardiola about Diaz was his passing excellence, which fits the philosophy of the Catalan coach, and the heat map of the Portuguese defender’s movements shows that he often advances to the opponent’s half in order to help build his team’s attacks.
According to Sky Sports, Diaz has completed 2058 correct passes in the Portuguese Premier League since the start of the 2019/2020 season, including 934 forward passes, and has also made 324 passes in the last third of the stadium, while 432 passes to the right wing.
During two encounters he played with Benfica in the Portuguese Premier League this season, Diaz passed the ball 92% correctly, and scored a goal against Moreirense in the second round, in his last match for Benfica.
“I am sure it is Diaz’s last match with us,” said Jorge Jesus, coach of Benfica, in a press statement after his team’s confrontation with Morirense on Saturday. “Sometimes things change in the last moments in football, but I don’t think that will happen.”
The Portuguese coach continued to talk about his distinguished defender: “He is a player whom we regret leaving our ranks. He grew up in our academy. He is now a captain and an international player in the national team.”
Diaz’s advantage is not limited to positioning and passing only, as he cut the ball with an average of 0.9 / matches, and made successful interventions with an average of 1.3 / matches, during the Portuguese Premier League competitions last season, and he also excelled in bilateral contact with an average of 4.7 / matches.
At the international level, Diaz imposed himself on the formation of the Portuguese national team, where he participated in 19 international matches, and became one of the most prominent elements of the European Nations Cup holder in the last two years.
The newly-transferred defender to Manchester City was one of the most prominent stars of the Portuguese national team in the 2018/2019 European Nations League competitions, and contributed to his country’s crowning of the first edition in the history of the continental tournament, and won the man of the final match award, which ended with a clean victory over the Dutch national team.
Diaz has shown great flexibility in his recent matches with his country, where he played on the left front with the heart of the defense, unlike his domestic participation, due to the participation of veteran Pepe next to him on the right side.