Joe Cole explains why Man United icon Rio Ferdinand was a better defender than Virgil van Dijk is

The England centre-half won the league six times during his career, also lifting a Champions League, a Club World Cup and three League Cups in his 455 Reds appearances. Van Dijk lifted his sole Premier League crown with Liverpool in 2020, also holding a Champions League and a Club World Cup winners medal.

The Dutch defender has been compared to the greats of the English game since growing into a world-class talent at Anfield. Hes been touted as the best centre-back in world football when he is on top form.

However, Cole thinks the comparisons made between the Dutchman and Ferdinand are a little off. Speaking on the FIVE YouTube channel, he explained: Van Dijks got a long way to go until he gets close to Rio.

That is with the most respect to Van Dijk who I think is the best around at the moment but he needs to win multiple league titles. I think centre-halves can get judged on what they win and the teams they play in but he needs to win multiple things.

Former United defender Ferdinand spoke to Van Dijk in May for BT Sport when the Liverpool No.4 revealed his top five Premier League centre-backs of all time. Top of the pile was Ferdinand himself with ex-Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany second. Jaap Stam followed in third while John Terry and Sami Hyypia completed the list.

Van Dijk made Ferdinands list too, coming at third with United legend Nemanja Vidic second and himself first. Stam and Terry also made his selections.


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