Throughout their careers, Virgil van Dijk and Rio Ferdinand have solidified themselves as two of the best defenders in Premier League history. And now they’ve selected their top five of all time.
Due to their immense work ethic and success, Liverpool and Manchester United fans have fallen in love with the pair of centre-backs. The Dutchman never holds anything back when he goes in for a challenge and leaves supporters in awe with his freakish power, pace and strength.
Without his presence in the team, Jurgen Klopp may have struggled to turn Liverpool into the Premier League-winning, Champions League-conquering side they are today.
In contrast, Ferdinand captivated crowds with his elegant, graceful and almost ‘continental’ style of play. Despite his enormous stature, he regularly displayed unique technical ability, skill, and balance. The Englishman possessed remarkable composure on the ball and helped the Red Devils win several Premier Leagues and a Champions League.
Therefore, there’s no denying that these two men know their stuff. And during a recent appearance on BT Sport, they revealed some of their interesting takes.
Rio Ferdinand picks his top five Premier League defenders of all time
The Liverpool star joined the retired United legend on ‘Rio Ferdinand’s Between the Lines‘, and they discussed who they believe should feature in the top five.
The host kicked off and decided to put himself right in the number one spot. He explained that the secret to his success was his unwavering confidence, which is why he felt it essential to always consider himself the best.
He unsurprisingly went for his old teammate, Nemanja Vidic, next. The two physical beasts created one of the fiercest defensive partnerships in footballing history in their primes. Ferdinand explained: “He was the only player that strikers looked at and thought, ‘Woah, I’m not going near him’.”
He then opted to give van Dijk the bronze medal, which resulted in the Dutch international releasing a wry smile. Ferdinand felt that his guest deserved the place based on the “massive impact” he’s made at Anfield.
The Old Trafford great then selected another United man and put “physically ridiculous” Jaap Stam in fourth place. And to conclude, he gave former England captain John Terry fifth place due to his “longevity”.
Rio Ferdinand’s top five defenders
- 1. Rio Ferdinand
- 2. Nemanja Vidic
- 3. Virgil van Dijk
- 4. Jaap Stam
- 5. John Terry
Virgil van Dijk picks his best Premier League defenders of all time
Next, it was van Dijk’s turn to give his opinion. Unlike the host, he chose the humble route and instead of selecting himself, he chose Ferdinand as his number one pick and described him as an “icon.”
On the contrary to the United legend, he chose to feature Vincent Kompany on his list. He gave the Belgian the number two spot because of his vital role as the Manchester City captain.
He then opted to go with his countryman Stam, who he described as “the man.” Next up, he bumped Terry up one spot due to his clean sheet record.
Van Dijk then went for a bit of fan service as he concluded the list.
He said: “I’m going with Sami Hyypiä. Do you know why? Because he’s a Liverpool legend.”
Virgil van Dijk’s top five defenders
- Rio Ferdinand
- Vincent Kompany
- Jaap Stam
- John Terry
- Sami Hyypia
Featured Image Credit: Getty