UEFA.com wonderkid: Meet Benfica's Captain Future

Picking up regular games at centre-back for Benfica, Rúben Dias is a great communicator with skills to match, prompting high hopes all round. "This is only the start," he said.

Rúben Dias (centre) in training ahead of his UEFA Champions League debut
Rúben Dias (centre) in training ahead of his UEFA Champions League debut ©AFP/Getty Images

Name: Rúben Dias
Club: Benfica
Position: central defender
Nationality: Portuguese
Age: 20 (born 14 May 1997)
Preferred foot: right
Height: 181cm

They say ...

"He's a young lad who is making immense and significant progress. He has enormous potential and is still only 20, but he knows that sometimes the hardest part is not getting there, it's staying there."
Rui Vitória, Benfica coach

"Rúben is a good example of what the Benfica youth system is about, bringing players with great maturity into the senior squad."
Luisão, Benfica captain

"Rúben Dias will be Benfica's next skipper."
Luís Filipe Vieira, Benfica president

"Very good, very strong – he knows how to play the ball and I think he's going to be a top player."
Nemanja Matić, Chelsea and former Benfica midfielder

"I made him captain. There was no doubt it would be him. He takes responsibility and does so naturally. He's a very good communicator."
Hélder Cristóvão, Benfica B coach

Story so far ...

Rúben Dias with Portugal's U19s in 2016
Rúben Dias with Portugal's U19s in 2016©Sportsfile

At Benfica since he was 11, Rúben Dias has emerged as a powerful centre-back with excellent positioning and man-marking skills. A good tackler and strong in the air, he captained Portugal at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup and 2016 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, having worn the armband for much of his Benfica youth career. His senior Benfica debut came last September, before he played UEFA Champions League football for the first time in October, against Manchester United.

He says ...

[Aged 14] "My biggest dream is to be a professional with Benfica."

"The first time I went into the dressing room and saw my name on one of the pegs, I shivered. I got the feeling I was on the right track. It was special, even more so because my place was right beside the captain [Luisão]. This is only the start."

"I define myself by my ambition, by my will to win. I am a very communicative player, confident in my tactical and technical abilities. I want to get to the top, and ambition is very important in reaching that goal."