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Virgil van Dijk has explained why he thinks Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland is one of the best strikers on the planet.
The latter is one of the most prolific goal scorers in Europe and has a number of characteristics that Van Dijk admits are difficult to defend against.
"Haaland is a special striker," the Liverpool defender told Sky Sports. "He's so strong, he's quick, he's got all the attributes to make a defender's life very difficult.
"The first time [I played him] was when he came on at Anfield. He was at Salzburg and he got a tap-in and he scored.
"Obviously in the away game he didn't. He got subbed after 65 minutes or something but it was a very tough one, he was very quick, aggressive, very direct."
The Dutchman went on to compare Haaland's style to that of Jamie Vardy, who van Dijk has come up against on multiple occasions whilst at Southampton and Liverpool.
"(It's a) bit like how Jamie Vardy plays," he continued. "The only thing I think Haaland has is maybe he's a little bit stronger than Vardy but it could be very difficult to defend against."
Haaland has made an outstanding start to the new season, scoring 7 times in just 5 matches for Marco Rose's men.
That said, van Dijk still believes the Borussia Dortmund striker has a long way to go before he can be considered the best player the 30 year old has come up against.
"I would say Leo Messi," the defender replied when asked who is the finest footballer he's faced. "He's still the best footballer in the world. Him and Cristiano Ronaldo... they've been doing unreal numbers for the last decade and it's incredible what they've achieved.
I would say Messi [is the toughest], just because of that very tough evening in Barcelona when we lost [3-0 in the Champions League semi final first leg]. Luckily we turned it around at Anfield."
Van Dijk might be seen as one of the best that some in Europe have encountered.
Since moving to The Reds in 2018, the former Celtic man has lifted the Premier League and Champions League and was named the PFA's Players' Player of the Year for the 2018-2019 season.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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