The Best FIFA Football Awards™

The Best FIFA Football Awards™

Monday 23 September 2019, Milan

The Best FIFA Men's Player

Van Dijk, in the words of others

Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool speaks with Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool
© Getty Images
  • Van Dijk is striving with Messi and Ronaldo for The Best FIFA Men’s Player
  • Jurgen Klopp, Ronald Koeman and Gary Neville laud the Dutchman
  • He saves Liverpool on their dry cleaning bill, says a former England international

“I could write a book about his skills, his strength, how much I like him. Virg is an exceptional defender, at the moment 100 per cent the best defender in the world.”
Jurgen Klopp

“I didn’t think he was worth £75m. And I didn’t think he would have the impact on Liverpool’s defence that he’s had. He’s a monster.”
Gary Neville

“Normally it is the players that score the goals, that dribble and beat people, that create opportunities – I think it speaks volumes that he’s even being talked about as winning [given] the fact he’s a centre-back. He’s the best [defender] I’ve seen, absolutely. He’s outstanding in every department. You just need to look at his stats last season: not one player dribbled past him. I just think that’s phenomenal.”
Gary Gillespie

“He embodies the full picture of a defender – his radiance, the way he captains the group, his presence on the pitch, and also now the prizes – the Champions League was fantastic. What he does during training sessions, when we have some issues outside training. The way he moves about the team ensures mutual respect.”_
Ronald Koeman_

“He’s unbelievable. He’s so good it’s scary. He’s the best [centre-back] in the world, and by a long way. Some players just see Van Dijk and kick the ball away. I can’t talk highly enough of him. He’s Alan Hansen. You can put his kit back in the skip for next week, you don’t even have to wash it, he can wear it again. He’s absolutely different class.”
Paul Merson

"He is a machine, he's the best centre-half in the world, no question. He's that type of player where they never ever seem as if they're extended. You always feel they've got gears and you never see him dive in. They always seem to be in control of themselves and in control of their opponent.”
Michael Owen

“He’s a monster. He’s so big and powerful. He cruises through games. He’s top class.” Darren Fletcher

“No-one beats him in the air. And I think he’s now gone 64 games without being dribbled past. He’s fast. And it’s funny that it seems like he doesn’t have to make much effort to run. He does it that way, like a big guy, and he easily gets to the ball. Balls in the air are funny. We just hear him shouting ‘VIRG!’. And you can let it pass, whoever the attacker is. We were going to play against Romelu Lukaku. I thought, ‘Lukaku has his size, let’s see if he will hold up’. My God. Every air ball, it was ‘VIRG!’, he would run over. You hear ‘VIRG!’, you get out of the way, because he will come running over.” Fabinho

“There is no doubt in my mind that Virgil van Dijk is the best defender on the planet today." Rio Ferdinand

“Virgil van Dijk is the best player in the world. He’s tearing it up.” Chris Sutton

“When you have Virgil van Dijk – the giant – on the pitch, it scares the opposition. Virgil has something special, he is the big man.” Alisson

Explore this topic

Recommended Stories

Virgil van Dijk

The Best FIFA Football Awards

Van Dijk: Overlooked diamond to global sensation

27 Aug 2019

The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019: Finalists announcement

The Best FIFA Football Awards™

The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019: Finalists anno...

28 Aug 2019