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Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk tells BT Sport his greatest-ever Premier League centre-backs – and the list might surprise you

Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk
(Image credit: Getty)

Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk has appeared in the latest episode of Rio Ferdinand’s Between The Lines (opens in new tab) to discuss his career – and pick his five greatest-ever Premier League centre-backs. 

In the interview, the towering Dutchman discussed how his journey from Willem II to Liverpool, via Groningen and Celtic, explaining the pressures he felt as the most expensive-ever defender, the delay in signing for Liverpool and how he could return stronger from last season's campaign-ending injury.

Van Dijk also spoke of how he discussed signing for Liverpool with captain Jordan Henderson – since they share the same agent – and explained how Jurgen Klopp is like a father figure to Reds stars and taught them not to think or speak about the quadruple.

Liverpool: Van Dijk picks his ultimate five Premier League centre-backs

With Van Dijk himself considered by many to be a Premier League great by now, the Dutchman picked a strong line-up of five stars who he thought to be the best handful – and didn't pick himself. 

Perhaps diplomatically, the No.4 went with host Rio Ferdinand as his first – another star who previously held the record for being the most expensive defender in the Premier League. 

Rio Ferdinand

(Image credit: PA)

Having fought against Manchester City for a number of seasons, VVD then plumped for Vincent Kompany, who led the Citizens to three titles. 

It was Kompany who actually scored a decisive goal to stop Van Dijk winning the title, too. In 2019, the Eastlands stalwart hit a rocket against Leicester City in one of the final games of the season to help retain City's title.

Jaap Stam was Van Dijk's second pick from Old Trafford – despite his fellow Dutchman only playing 79 times for Manchester United.

Jaap Stam, Alex Ferguson

(Image credit: PA)

John Terry made it onto the list, with the former Chelsea star having won five titles and played almost 500 times in the Premier League. Terry's time at the top overlapped with van Dijk playing for Southampton, as the pair went up against one another. 

Sami Hyypia was a potentially surprise final pick for Van Dijk. The ex-Liverpool captain never won the Premier League, though the current Red picked a former Red to complete his line-up.

Watch BT Sport’s exclusive coverage of the UEFA Champions League final between Liverpool v Real Madrid live from the Stade de France from 6pm on Saturday 28th May. For more info, visit (opens in new tab)

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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. Over his time on the brand, he has interviewed the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Jack Wilshere, written pieces ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career, and has been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals, working for FFT