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Tottenham centre-back Eric Dier praised manager Antonio Conte for helping to revitalize his international career ahead of the World Cup.

Dier, 28, has won 45 caps for England since his debut in 2015 but it has been almost two years since he last represented his country in a UEFA Nations League win against Iceland in November 2020.

However, after making 35 Premier League appearances last season, Dier has become an integral part of Conte’s three centre-backs and has played every minute of Tottenham’s seven unbeaten games this season (5W, 2D).

Speaking to the media about how he’s progressed since his last international call-up, Dier Conte gave plenty of credit for changing the way he approaches his game.

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“I don’t want to sound like a teacher’s pet, but [Conte] has done a lot for me,” he said. “In every way he has done a lot for me.

“He influenced me a lot in every way. Tactically, physically, mentally. My approach.

“Not just the manager but all his staff. He is very demanding but I enjoy that a lot. Since his arrival I have never learned as much this year. I don’t think I have learned as much as I have before. ” now with him.

“He’s the godfather of that system, so I feel like you’re constantly learning with him and evolving within that system, and you’re always adding new things – once we’ve learned one thing, we’re on to the next.

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“I think he probably gave me a little bit of my faith back, too.”

Taking it a step further, Dier said he not only felt like he had regained his old form, but he had now reached a new level.

“I think it was my most difficult season when I missed the European Championship, [but] I don’t think it was as bad a season as is often portrayed,” he said. “By far not.

“But now I think I’ve reached my best level in my career, not only this season but also last season. I think I’m getting better and I think I can get better.”

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With five games required to start his half-century in an England shirt, Dier said he’d be lying if he didn’t think about it.

“I saw that they now have a board at the hotel reception with all the people who have earned 50 and 100,” he said. “It’s a dream to be able to achieve that.

“It would mean a lot. When I wasn’t in the squad, I thought about how close I was. That annoyed me. I’d love to reach a milestone like that.

“I’m very happy … I’m very proud to have made it back, I just don’t like to dramatize it. I play soccer, you know?”





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