Ruben Dias, Portugal’s defender, stated a difficult season with Manchester City had driven him for Euro 2020, and he intended to outperform himself in the team’s championship defense.

Apart from his national team duties, centre defender Dias, who was awarded England’s Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association, played 50 matches for City in all competitions in the 2020-21 season.

“This just motivates me. I like to outdo myself and I like to play always on the red line,” Dias told reporters.

FIFPRO, the global players’ organization, has warned that when tournament calendars are made up, players wellbeing was not taken into account.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Euros were postponed by a year, delaying the start of the 2020-21 season and forcing European leagues to finish the difficult season in time for the summer competition.

The compacted schedule has been criticized by a number of elite club coaches, but Dias downplayed the issue of weariness.

“I want to do things that nobody has done before and the chance to represent my country with all these games behind me only motivates me further,” Dias said.

“This also leads me to believe I can show that I’m doing well, that I’m strong and that I can keep on playing.”

Portugal started their campaign with a 3-0 win over Hungary and will play Germany later on Saturday in Group F.

“Our expectations are that we’re going to be facing one of the best teams in the Euros,” Dias said.

“We’re also one of the best teams and we’re fully aware that even if we started off on the right foot we need to have our feet planted firmly on the ground.”