| Last updated
Van Dijk, 30, has been widely praised for his impact at Liverpool since his whopping £75m move from Southampton in January 2018.
The Dutch centre-back has lifted both the Premier League title and Champions League trophy during his time at Anfield.
And Van Dijk finished runner-up for the 2019 Ballon d'Or behind eventual winner Lionel Messi.
Everton fan Bellew has now hailed the Netherlands captain as the “Rolls-Royce of defenders” and insisted that he is better than Ferdinand.
The 38-year-old former boxer told GiveMeSport: “What a player. I think he's the best defender that I've seen in my lifetime. I think he's that good. He's the Rolls-Royce of defenders.
“I haven't seen a defender that's as composed or as good as him since a prime Rio Ferdinand and I think his physical capabilities are more than Rio Ferdinand. That's the only reason that I rate him as better than Ferdinand.
“Don't get me wrong, he needs longevity and he needs more trophies to be nailed on, but I just think looking at him and what he does on the ball, I think he's the best defender that I've ever seen in my lifetime.
“When you come to just pure defending, I'd say [Franco] Baresi and [Paolo] Maldini are the greatest defenders of all time, but they could never do the things that he could actually do with a ball.
“You know, the way he sprays the ball 80 yards, no problem at all. He doesn't just spray the ball 80 yards and the players run on to it. It's at the players' feet. It's just insane how good he is.
“He's literally the Rolls-Royce of defenders. He's phenomenal and someone that I rate massively, which pains me to say, understand, but he's phenomenal.”
Van Dijk has handed Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp a major boost by returning to the starting XI for the current Premier League season.
The Liverpool defender was sidelined for the majority of last season after he suffered an ACL injury in his right knee against Everton.
Van Dijk has started all five of Liverpool’s opening Premier League matches this season as the Reds sit top of the table.
Featured Image Credit: PA
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read