Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk reveals his all-time top five Premier League centre-backs

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Van Dijk has had his say on his favourite centre-backs in the Premier League era
Van Dijk has had his say on his favourite centre-backs in the Premier League era / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Virgil van Dijk has selected Rio Ferdinand as the greatest Premier League centre-back of all time, while also revealing that he wishes to force his way into the top five before he retires.

Van Dijk has long been considered the best central defender in the world and has enjoyed another fine personal campaign this time out.

The Dutchman has already lifted two trophies with the Reds this season - the FA Cup and Carabao Cup - and his side remains in contention for a treble ahead of Saturday's Champions League final.

Before that game Van Dijk spoke with BT Sport pundit Ferdinand, and revealed his surprising top five all-time Premier League centre-backs.

After selecting Ferdinand as his top pick he explained: "I think you could also play in the modern era. Back in the day you were so important for the United team.

"All the English centre-backs in general looked up to you. You were an icon as a defender. Your presence is a very important thing as a centre-back - be good on the ball and off the ball.

"You tackled a bit more than I do back in the day, but it's a different game now."

Van Dijk then selected former Man City skipper Vincent Kompany in the number two spot.

"Fantastic captain. Good on the ball, good without the ball. He scored important goals in his City career - and scored a very important one against Leicester when he nearly won the league.

"Great guy, he was outstanding."

Van Dijk then gave some love to compatriot Jaap Stam, saying: "For me as a Dutchman, he was the man. If you looked at the national team I always thought he was 6'5, or 6'6. But that was just his presence.

"I have so much respect for what he's achieved."

Chelsea legend John Terry was fourth on Van Dijk's list.

"He has the record for most clean sheets in the Premier League. He is also one of the centre-backs that you look at when you're younger, as well as yourself, Sergio Ramos, [Alessandro] Nesta."

And Van Dijk close off his top five by finally choosing a former Liverpool player.

"I'm going to put Hyypia because he's a Liverpool legend! He played at Willem II as well [as Jaap Stam]," he said.

"He was underrated in my opinion. A very good player good on the ball. Important for the club in an important period of the club as well. Hopefully I'll be in this five one day."

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