Of all the people who could have cost Benfica dear in their Europa League round-of-32 clash with Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday night, you wouldn’t have expected it to be their £67 million centre-back.
Ruben Dias, after all, is one of the most admired young defenders in the game. He has made over 150 career appearances at the age of 22 and, in last summer’s inaugural UEFA Nations League final, he was arguably the best player on the pristine Porto pitch.
But, just days after reports from the Express suggested that Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool were considering triggering his monstrous release clause, Dias committed a cardinal sin to put Benfica on the verge of European elimination.
Usually so assured in possession, Dias was caught dawdling on the ball on the edge of his own box by a high Shakhtar press. Seconds later, Viktor Kovalenko would give the Ukrainian giants a 2-1 lead to take to the return leg next week.
‘Pobody’s nerfect’, as the old saying goes, and Dias will surely bounce back from this most uncharacteristic of errors in typically commanding fashion. For now, though, he’s not exactly Portugal’s Mr Popular.
And if scouts from Tottenham or Liverpool were keeping an eye on proceedings, the purse-strings might have just tightened a little.
Terrible defending from Ruben Dias— Pote Galvez (@SherzCapone) February 20, 2020
Ruben Dias mistake as well— eurico (@passevertical) February 20, 2020
Sometimes Ruben Dias really do be like that.— Adrian From RTV (@Rabona_TV) February 20, 2020
Ruben Dias is better then Pepe and deserves his spot at Euro 2020 they say https://t.co/jNVCuDe3vi— Portista Bruno (@xbrunaldo7x) February 21, 2020
Well done Ruben Dias brilliant just brilliant— BenficaInATriangle (@InBenfica) February 20, 2020
he's having a bad game— Satrac (@satrac) February 20, 2020
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