Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland has said that Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk is one of the three best defenders in the world.
The pair have only met on two occasions – in last season’s Champions League group stages. Indeed, Haaland exploded onto the scene as one of Europe’s best young strikers in the competition.
The Norwegian made his name at RB Salzburg by scoring eight times in six group games last term. What’s more, he netted one of his goals at Anfield when facing up against Van Dijk.
But despite testing Van Dijk to his limits on that occasion, Haaland has said that he still found it tough against the Dutchman, who he put on a par with Sergio Ramos and Kalidou Koulibaly.
“I think the best three central defenders in the world are Sergio Ramos, Virgil van Dijk and Kalidou Koulibaly,” Haaland said (via the Liverpool Echo).
“All three are very physical, but also very intelligent on the pitch.”
Haaland’s form for his former club earned him a move to Dortmund in January. But he has not slowed up, scoring 33 goals in 32 games for the German club.
Van Dijk, meanwhile, has been out of action since the middle of October. He ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the 2-2 Merseyside derby draw with Everton and it remains unclear when he will return.
However, he is likely to miss the remainder of the rest of the season.
Before his injury, though, he had proved to be one of the world’s best defenders. He played every Premier League game last season to guide Liverpool to the Premier League title.
The 29-year-old also played a vital role in the Reds’ Champions League triumph in 2018/19.
Tottenham tracking Ramos
Meanwhile, Ramos, who Haaland also holds in high regard, is facing uncertainty over his future.
The 34-year-old has entered the final year of his Real Madrid deal and has yet to sign an extension.
Indeed, the latest reports suggest that Tottenham could look to snap the Spaniard up in the coming months.