Former Chelsea captain John Terry has claimed that Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk could potentially be the best defender of all time.
Responding to questions via his Instagram Stories, Terry was asked if the Liverpool star has the potential to be the greatest player ever in their shared position.
“Yes, I do,” replied the 41-year-old. “I always say to be considered the best LONGEVITY is key. He has been exceptional in the last 3/4 years, but to be the best you have to be on top for 10/15 years.
Considering Terry is one of the great centre-backs of the last 20 years, that’s a big claim. Especially since he is so openly associated with one of Liverpool’s rivals.
An impossible comparison
It is impossible to really compare players of different generations. The game changes so much from decade to decade that comparing one player against another is an often fruitless task.
Is Van Dijk better than Terry? Is he better than the great players of the past like Franco Baresi, Franz Beckenbauer or Bobby Moore?
As Terry points out, the 30-year-old is surely in the conversation based purely on his ability.
Where Virgil is lacking when compared to these stellar names of the past is in his trophy collection. Liverpool have struggled to correct this over the past few years. But Van Dijk still has some catching up to do.
He will represent his country at a major tournament for the first time this winter. Not only will Van Dijk be a key man for the Netherlands, but he will also be their captain and leader.
If he can take a relatively unfancied Dutch side into the competition, it will bolster his claim.
For many Liverpool fans, they don’t need convincing. These debates are largely immaterial. Van Dijk is back to his best, and Van Dijk at the top of his game is certainly the best defender around. He is the benchmark that all centre-backs aspire to achieve.
With his long-term injury now almost two years behind him, he hopefully has yet another speed to achieve in 2022/23.
After turning thirty-one last week, the clock is starting to tick slowly on Virgil’s career. We should enjoy watching it while we can, as we are surely witnessing one of the absolute greatest of all time in action.
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