Virgil van Dijk names the defenders that inspired him the most

Van Dijk inspiration

Virgil van Dijk names his top five centre backs of the Premier League Era.

After seeing Rio Ferdinand name his top five centre backs on Between The Lines, Virgil van Dijk also took the opportunity and named some players that were an inspiration to him and his career.

Rio Ferdinand

Whether his company influenced his decision or not is open to interpretation but van Dijk followed Ferdinand by taking the United legend as his number one.

“Back in the day you were so important for the United team,” said Van Dijk.

“I think all the English centre-backs, in general, looked up to you. I think you were an icon as a defender.

“Also your presence, it’s a very important thing as a centre-back to have a good presence, being good with or without the ball and you tackled a little bit more than I do back in the day.”

Vincent Kompany

After being omitted from Ferdinand’s list Van Dijk decided to give the Belgian the number two spot on his list.

Considering Kompany was also one of the most recent to retire of those in front of him, Kompany was also sure to have been the freshest in Van Dijk’s mind and also would have been a player that he would have faced.

“Vincent two, he was similar.

“Fantastic captain, good on the ball, good without the ball, scored important goals in his City career, a great guy and he was outstanding. Fantastic career so he’s my second.”

Jaap Stam

Van Dijk then took the opportunity to pick a fellow countryman for his next spot in Jaap Stam.

As his countryman, Van Dijk seemed even more sentimental with this choice.

“Then Jaap, I have to put the dutchman in, of course. For me as a dutchman, he was the man.

“If you look at the national team, I always thought he was going to be two and a half metres, six foot five or six but that was his presence.

“His career, in general, was outstanding, his time at United and Milan… I just have so much respect for what he achieved. I’d put him as three.”

John Terry

John Terry also managed to feature on both lists with Van Dijk acknowledging that the stats were in his favour.

“J.T. (John Terry)… What can you say? I think he has the records, the most clean sheets, least goals conceded in the Premier League.

“Also, one of the centre-backs that you look at and it’s where you want to be.”

After seeing Ferdinand’s picks Terry made sure to let him know why 5th place was too low for the Chelsea legend.

Sami Hyypia

Putting a Liverpool player on his list was always bound to be a smart decision but Ferdinand thought that Van Dijk would pick himself.

“I can’t do that,” responded Van Dijk.

“But hopefully, I’ll be in these five one day… but, if you look at these four, the way they play is something I really enjoy as well, the presence, looking up to (them)…”

While talking about looking up to players, Van Dijk decided that Sami Hyypia was the perfect man to round out his team.

“I’m going to put Hyypia up because he’s a Liverpool legend… he was underrated in my opinion.”

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