There has been a lot of controversy around the fact that Virgil van Dijk was recently named the best player in Europe during the latest UEFA Champions League draw.
Several fans believe you can’t choose a defender as the best player in the world, a similar case to when Fabio Cannavaro won that controversial Ballon d’Or back in 2006.
Ironically, even one of van Dijk’s compatriots thinks he shouldn’t been deem as the best in the world, as Rafael van der Vaart claimed during a recent interview:
“He is not the best player in the world, but he is special. Messi and Ronaldo are the best, but you cannot compare defenders and attackers,” the former Real Madrid midfielder told Tuttomercatoweb.
Van der Vaart also went on to talk about another Duth center-back that’s taking the world for assault right now, claiming Matthijs de Ligt would’ve been better off at Spain or Germany instead of Italy:
“I would have preferred to see him at Bayern Munich or at Barcelona. He has difficulties in this period and it is not easy to compete with (Giorgio) Chiellini, even if he is now injured, and (Leonardo) Bonucci. But he is very talented,” van der Vaart concluded.
As for van Dijk, he truly made a strong case for himself this season, though, after finishing as the UEFA Nations League and English Premier League runner-up and winning the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool.
Moreover, his impact was felt in all aspects of the game, as his goal scoring in set-pieces and corners was key for both Netherlands and Liverpool throughout the entire campaign, and no player was able to dribble past him throughout the entire season.
Still, there will always be some people that think a striker is a more impactful player than any defender in the world, even if we’re talking about a world-class stopper like van Dijk.