Fan Shuts Down Tweet Suggesting Virgil van Dijk Is As Good As Paolo Maldini

Virgil van Dijk is easily the best defender in the Premier League at the moment and probably top five in the world.

But one fan did not take kindly to the Dutch defender being compared to the legendary Paolo Maldini and promptly shut down the claim on social media.

'@NetBet' posed the question as to whether Liverpool's No.4 could reach Maldini's level and @FinallyAcquino felt the need to reply and air his thoughts.

He would then point out the huge contrast in what Maldini achieved by the time he was 27, compared to what Van Dijk had done at the same age.

Incidentally, Maldini made his AC Milan debut 34 years ago today as a 16-year old kid against Udinese.

He went on to spend his entire career playing for his beloved Rossoneri in three separate decades, winning a total of 26 major trophies at the San Siro, including five Champions Leagues.

His reading of the game was unmatched, with Maldini renowned for being one of the most brilliant minds in defence and not needing to dive in needlessly because of his immense football brain.

There's no denying that Van Dijk is a brilliant centre-back, one who has been instrumental in Jurgen Klopp's table-topping Liverpool side, but comparisons to Maldini feel like a step too far.

Image: PA
Image: PA

Maldini himself lamented the lack of top quality modern day defending as the game has evolved when speaking in March 2017.

"Central defenders start the play, now they play more with the ball and everything starts from the goalkeeper," he said, speaking to Grant Wahl on the Planet Futbol podcast.

"20 years ago they were only defenders and only a few of them were confident on the ball, so everything has changed.

"But also they're losing the habit of marking on corners or one-on-one, so the art of defending is losing some characteristics of the '80s.

"It bothers me, yeah. Especially at the top level, because I'm not talking about a second division team, I'm talking about national teams and the Champions League.

"The game has changed a lot, but I still think having a great defence makes a better team long-term."

Josh Lawless

Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.

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