CNN  — 

Before anyone else has arrived, Ruben Dias is at Manchester City’s training ground, ready to begin his day.

“The problem is, I go in the building and, when I come out, it’s dark already,” he jokes to CNN Sport, while driving through Manchester to join up with his team.

It is through this dedication to football, alongside his natural talent, that Dias has forged his reputation as one of the game’s best defenders, winning the Premier League twice with Manchester City and now featuring at the 2022 World Cup with Portugal.

“It will definitely be a special moment,” he says, looking ahead to the tournament.

“I had the chance of being in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. And I definitely felt a different perspective because it’s one thing to watch it from the outside, you know how big it is, but then to actually live it and be there, it’s just something else.

“As a player, it’s probably the biggest [trophy] you can achieve. It’s unfair to put it into words, to be honest, the feeling you must have after you’ve done it.”

Dias was included in Portugal’s 2018 squad but the then 21-year-old picked up an injury and didn’t feature in any matches.

Dias will be featuring at his second World Cup for Portugal.