Vincent Kompany has named Virgil van Dijk as the Premier League’s best ever centre-back ahead of his testimonial on Wednesday evening.
The former Manchester City captain made the assessment from the belief that the Dutchman would easily win the honour if he had been playing at the top level for a lot longer.
Van Dijk is the favourite to win this year’s Ballon d’Or award ahead of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – especially when you consider that he has already beaten the duo to the prize of UEFA’s Best Player at the recent Champions League draw.
Van Dijk also helped guide Liverpool to their sixth Champions League trophy in June while the Reds narrowly missed out on winning the Premier League title by one point to Kompany’s City side.
And after being asked who is the best ever to play his position in the Premier League, Kompany was full of praise for the Holland international before putting him ahead of the likes of John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.
After being ruled out of his own testimonial with a hamstring injury, Kompany told the Liverpool Echo: ‘I never try to compare. My journey is different, I’ve had to deal with different tools and for me to not play this game, let’s not escape the irony. So I’ve had to deal with that and I’ve tried to be substantial for my team.
‘I would bring it back to Virgil van Dijk, he’s not been on the scene as long as Terry, Ferdinand who have been around for a long time but the signs he’s shown in the last few years show if he had been around longer he’d have been at the top for a long time.
‘The Liverpool before van Dijk and after are a completely different set up so I’ll give him that one.’
While he will miss his own testimonial, Kompany will be honoured by the club he left at the end of last season, after guiding them to the sixth top-flight title of City’s history.