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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 twice, in the group stage of the Champions League last season. Indeed, Haaland burst onto the scene as one of Europe’s best young forwards in the competition.
Norwegian made a name for himself at RB Salzburg by scoring eight goals in six group games last season. In addition, he scored one of his goals at Anfield when he faced Van Dijk.
But despite pushing Van Dijk to his limits on that occasion, Haaland has said that he still found it difficult against The dutch, whom he put on a par with Sergio Ramos and Kalidou Koulibaly.
“I think the three best central defenders in the world are Sergio Ramos, Virgil van Dijk and Kalidou Koulibaly,” Haaland said (via Echo of Liverpool).
“All three are very physical, but also very intelligent on the field.”
Haaland’s form for his former club earned him a transfer to Dortmund in January. But he hasn’t slowed down, scoring 33 goals in 32 games for the German club.
Van Dijk, meanwhile, has been out of action since mid-October. He tore his ACL in the Merseyside derby’s 2-2 draw with Everton and it is unclear when he will return.
However, the rest of the season is likely to be missed.
However, before his injury, he had proven to be one of the best defenders in the world. 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 tracks Ramos
Meanwhile, Ramos, whom Haaland also holds in high regard, faces uncertainty about his future.
The 34-year-old has entered the final year of his contract with Real Madrid and has yet to sign an extension.
In fact, the latest reports suggest that Tottenham could look to break up the Spaniard in the coming months.