The former Southampton man’s lack of titles played a role in the Englishman’s argument.
Ever since he made his debut since signing for the Reds last season, Virgil van Dijk has been performing at an insanely consistent and top level. Having often decided matches on his own account and single-handedly dominating the Liverpool backline with panache and charisma, it is no surprise that many fans and pundits have been praising and applauding his pundits.
He has had a great hand in Liverpool’s enviable defensive record this season that has seen them conceding only 15 goals in the Premier League this season.
It goes without saying that Van Dijk is the best defender in England right now, but in the continental stage he still has the likes of Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Raphael Varane, Diego Godín, Giorgio Chiellini to compete with. The decline of Real Madrid and their horrific form in defence has worked negatively for arguments in favour of Ramos and Varane’s claims to the world’s best.
Rio Ferdinand, however, still believes that Sergio Ramos is ahead of Virgil Van Dijk and is the best defender in the world.
Ferdinand, one of the greatest defenders of this generation, cited Van Dijk’s lack of silverware won to match his form as the focal point of his argument in picking. When asked about the claims in favour of Van Dijk as the world’s best, Ferdinand said, “I’d still put Ramos there.”
“Ramos, when the big games come up, the trophies are there to be won, he’s normally standing there with his sleeves rolled up. He is not being shifted at the moment. To be considered the best in the world, you have got to win stuff as well. You cannot just play well for your team and sit there as runner-up or coming third or fourth. That’s why, when people talk about Player of the Year and you see they haven’t won anything but they are the best player, I am thinking: ‘How? You haven’t influenced a team to win things’, said the former United man.
He further added, “You need to be part of a team that is winning to be considered like that. Virgil is a fantastic player, potentially the best in the world but, right now, no. And I’d think he would agree. Winning is an essential part of winning personal accolades. You have to win. If Liverpool win the league it’s legit, but it would feel odd if he is the best player and they have come second or third.”
Liverpool travel to Bavaria this week to face Bayern Munich in the second leg of the Champions League. After being held to a goalless stalemate, Bayern who have recently gone back to the pole position in Bundesliga will be confident about getting a positive result against Liverpool and Van Dijk’s presence in defence will be as crucial as ever.