Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has labelled the best player he has ever played alongside, but it may come as a surprise to most.

The 31-year-old, who is currently preparing to play for Holland at the 2022 World Cup, admitted that current team-mate Roberto Firmino topped the list over the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

Van Dijk has played alongside the Brazilian forward at Liverpool ever since he joined the club from Southampton in January 2018 – winning every major trophy in that period including the Premier League and Champions League.

The defender also had the experience of playing against Firmino during his time with Southampton prior to his blockbuster £80million move to Anfield.

‘I would say at Liverpool it’s Bobby Firmino,’ the Dutch defender told Pitch Side’s YouTube channel.

‘But also knowing how difficult it is to play against him as a defender because he drops deep.

‘I can say him, but Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Thiago now. It’s been enjoyable playing with these guys.’

Van Dijk also revealed who the best player on his national team is, by adding: ‘At the national team I would say Frenke de Jong.’

Firmino has been an integral part of the Reds success in recent seasons, although he seemed to have fallen down the pecking order this summer with Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and new signing Darwin Nunez all preferred.

The Brazilian, however, has reclaimed his place and instead has notched nine goals this season in 21 appearances in all competitions.

The forward has scored a total of 107 goals across 348 appearances since arriving at Liverpool from Bundesliga side Hoffenheim back in 2015.

Firmino, who missed out on selection for Brazil’s 2022 World Cup squad despite his good form this campaign, is out of contract this summer.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are believed to be working on a contract extension to keep the Brazilian at the club beyond this summer.

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