Van Dijk is the second best player in the world and the most impactful defender of our generation.

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Post by Firenze Wed Feb 22, 2023 2:22 pm

This guy has been WASHED for quite some time now. Had a brief spell as the best CB in the world after playing for mid-lvl teams most of his career.

Not even a top 10 CB in the league let alone the world.

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Post by sportsczy Wed Feb 22, 2023 3:17 pm

He had an injury the derailed him. Never completely recovered from it as he lost significant pace.

But yes, I agree. He's fallen off dramatically.
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Post by halamadrid2 Wed Feb 22, 2023 3:27 pm

He had a very short peak. I look at their team and they complain that they have too many old players but their definition of old is hitting 30 years old. Van Dijk is only 31 yo, that's normally when CBs hit their primes.

Feel alot of these Liverpool players were overrated when they were winning
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Post by Vibe Wed Feb 22, 2023 4:42 pm

We are so spoiled as fans.

He was incredible for a couple of years, best in the world. No matter how washed he is or isn't, that is quite an accomplishment, even if he was best in the world for a day.

And here we have people shitting on him like it was nothing Laughing
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Post by Thimmy Wed Feb 22, 2023 5:51 pm

halamadrid2 wrote:He had a very short peak. I look at their team and they complain that they have too many old players but their definition of old is hitting 30 years old. Van Dijk is only 31 yo, that's normally when CBs hit their primes.

Feel alot of these Liverpool players were overrated when they were winning


I don't really think his peak was that short. I never watched him at Celtic, but I do remember the hype surrounding him when he was there and I have no clue why it was Southampton who ended up getting him. Hardly ever saw him at Southampton, but it was easy to see his flashes of brilliance when he was playing there. I think he was made their captain in his first season or something, which gives you a certain indication of his impact on the club.

I also recall some people that I talked to describing him as the best defender in the league at Southampton, which I dismissed as bias or a just a hot take - but in hindsight, it wouldn't surprise me if he was. Players who play in less popular leagues or teams do have a tendency to go under the radar. And then he transferred to Liverpool, and it seemed like everyone who ever mentioned him assumed that he, among others were simply products of Klopp's supposedly genius man management.
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Post by El Gunner Wed Feb 22, 2023 7:10 pm

yea best CB in the Prem shout when he was at Soton was warranted
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Post by BarcaLearning Thu Feb 23, 2023 4:00 pm

He just cant cover much ground it seems anymore, n with TAA it means the other CB has to be such an all round beast to cover for them two? Razz Cant really think of anyone good enough to do that much coverage except for perhaps Upmecano or peak Ramos? Liverpool had the midfield to do that also but they've all aged a lot.
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Post by Arquitecto Thu Feb 23, 2023 4:57 pm

VvD hasn't declined he's just the most arrogant CB Ive ever seen. A lot of things have gotten to his head and it's almost as if he tries more to make things look easy and play off threats rather than actually do it.

He often delegates tasks to his other CB and more so fullbacks and when he is faced with actual ingenuity and skill he gets turned inside out.

Ive always liked him but have had this problem with him since he made it big and he refuses to do so. His performances this season and over the world cup have been terrible.

Like buddy you are not Baresi, put in the work and overcome what's been a short time in the elite of CBs.
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Post by Perucho21 Mon Feb 27, 2023 8:58 pm

Though he was better than Sergio Ramos? Or was it typical EPL overhype? Like whats happening with Casemiro now that hes finally geting the recognition he deserves for being the best DM in the past decade now that he plays at United
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Post by El Gunner Mon Feb 27, 2023 9:17 pm

at his best, he was
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Post by sportsczy Mon Feb 27, 2023 9:36 pm

Unpopular opinion: Ramos was never a great CB defensively. He just stopped getting red cards and scored a lot of important goals = great CB for fans.
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Post by Thimmy Mon Feb 27, 2023 9:44 pm

sportsczy wrote:Unpopular opinion: Ramos was never a great CB defensively. He just stopped getting red cards and scored a lot of important goals = great CB for fans.


I honestly thought we all agreed on that a long time ago, until I saw Perucho's comment just now. I'm also pretty sure some of our RM fans claimed that Casemiro was the best DM in the world on at least one occasion in the past. The way I see it, the only difference between then and now is that Kante has been riddled with injuries and poor form in more recent time.
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Post by El Gunner Mon Feb 27, 2023 9:45 pm

i thought that was common knowledge
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Post by Valkyrja Mon Feb 27, 2023 10:30 pm

imagine comparing a legendary footballer like Ramos to this dude
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Post by Vibe Mon Feb 27, 2023 11:06 pm

Ramos was a beast, clutch as fuck but never had the smarts.

With the brain of someone like Thiago Silva for example, he would be the best defender of all time.

He had everything else.
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Post by Arquitecto Tue Feb 28, 2023 11:39 am

Okay no, I will always love Ramos above VvD but as a defender there is no comparison and its not even close.

Ramos is a fan favourite due to his global reach and his clutch goals. He also is a better leader than VvD but the latter outclasses him in defence. We will know by the end of Virgil's career who was better than who for he is nowhere near done yet.
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Post by Casciavit Tue Feb 28, 2023 4:57 pm

Prime Van Dijk was the best CB since Nesta.

He was the one who transformed a suicidal attacking Liverpool into CL finalists in 2018.

Then he was a key cog in leading them to a CL win in 2019, and PL title in 2020. Their first CL win in 14 years, and first PL title in like 30 years.

In 2021, he gets an ACL injury and Liverpool barely make the CL and have to rely on a last minute corner goal from Alisson.

He comes back from the ACL injury and Liverpool plays the most high-risk offside trap I've seen since Pep's Barca because they had enough faith in him and Alisson dealing with most attacks. This led to them playing every game possible in 2022 as they made it to the final in every competition.

He's the only CB I've seen that had actual attackers run backward when they faced him 1v1.

He was so physically dominant. He had an aerial win percentage of +70%, could outpace almost all attackers, and rarely lost any individual duels.

Yeah he's not someone who will go to the ground and block every shot. He has a more passive style, but people need to understand Liverpool's coaching staff don't want their players blocking shots. I think it was Ljinders who said they analyzed that the probability of a deflected shot going in, is higher than a shot from outside the box.

Now obviously there have been situations where Van Dijk could have put his body on the line, but it's also a coaching instruction.

He and everyone in Liverpool are having a bad season, but it's a transition season. They have an entirely new forward line, their midfield is finished, and this is giving the defense a harder time to work with. Everyone's level has dropped and they need a shake-up.

Ramos is great. He's clutch not just in terms of scoring, but he was winning everything in the box against guys like Lewandowski in the CL knockout rounds.

He just has way too many brain-dead moments. Ramos never had the aura that prime VVD did. No attacker feared him like they did VVD. Put VVD in Madrid and Madrid still win their CL's. Put Ramos in Liverpool and I doubt they are as successful.

A player can be elite for 5 years, but the one year they have a poor run of form people try to discredit them as if the previous 5 years were imaginary. Laughing
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Post by Arquitecto Tue Feb 28, 2023 8:25 pm

Very, very good post above.

van Dijk at his best you just could not get past. He had a system behind his defence whereas Ramos was individually skilled as a defender but quite frankly he has too many red cards and was skinned too many times by players who weren't even elite for it to even be a comparison.

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Post by Doc Wed Mar 01, 2023 4:37 am

Best CB since Nesta is a bit of an exaggeration though. Like, I dare say it's wrong.

Of course, I am of the real opinion that just because one isn't a legend of the game does not mean you're not good. In which, Virgil is a very good CB, however, his flaws were always apparent to those who were willing to admit. Cas described it in his lovely post but it felt more like a glossing over than what is currently hampering him i.e his passive way of defending.

That being said, I also think a very good defender can look mediocre in a tactical defensive set up that is no longer suited to him and I believe (and I say this with my chest), Virgil is no longer suited to how a Klopp team plays (mostly due to the major injury). And of course, there is his CB partner (Matip, Gomez, et al) and Trent who simply are either not good enough for this level or literally cannot defend (Trent obviously) which really does not help matters but currently, Virgil ain't helping either.
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Post by Casciavit Wed Mar 01, 2023 5:35 am

Yeah so I'm comparing him more to the crop post-2010. I just used Nesta as a reference before that era lol. I think football changed a lot after Barca played Inter in 2010. If we say that modern defending took place in 2010. Then the top CB's who played at a high level across most of the last 13 years:

Thiago Silva
Ramos
Pique
Hummels
Boateng
Chiellni
Bonucci
Van Dijk
Godin
Pepe
Varane

I might be missing a name. But those are the ones who immediately come to mind. Which one of these CB's had Van Dijk's athleticism, leadership, ability to play in a high line and deep line, ball-playing, and low number of brainfarts/embarassing moments?
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Post by Casciavit Wed Mar 01, 2023 5:37 am

Maybe you can make an argument for Thiago Silva? But he was never as comfortable defending wider spaces like Van Dijk was and he had a reputation for not being a capable leader in high-pressure situations.
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Post by El Gunner Wed Mar 01, 2023 8:02 am

i know he is mostly pre-2010, but i would say Vidic had everything except the extent of Van Dijk's athleticism. Such an underhyped and mostly now-forgotten CB Vidic was, he was the best of his time when United dominated 2007 to 2011.

Best CB since Nesta indeed sounds like an exaggeration and recency bias. One of the best since Nesta would be a more accurate statement. As there have been a few CBs who dominated for a stretch of 2-3 years, similarly to Van Dijk - namely:
Thiago Silva
Chiellini
Bonucci
Godin

then you can go further and say Thiago Silva has had longevity on his side as he has stayed at the top of his game the longest than any other CB post-2010.
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Post by Valkyrja Wed Mar 01, 2023 12:48 pm

Casciavit wrote:Prime Van Dijk was the best CB since Nesta.

He was the one who transformed a suicidal attacking Liverpool into CL finalists in 2018.

Then he was a key cog in leading them to a CL win in 2019, and PL title in 2020. Their first CL win in 14 years, and first PL title in like 30 years.

In 2021, he gets an ACL injury and Liverpool barely make the CL and have to rely on a last minute corner goal from Alisson.

He comes back from the ACL injury and Liverpool plays the most high-risk offside trap I've seen since Pep's Barca because they had enough faith in him and Alisson dealing with most attacks. This led to them playing every game possible in 2022 as they made it to the final in every competition.

He's the only CB I've seen that had actual attackers run backward when they faced him 1v1.

He was so physically dominant. He had an aerial win percentage of +70%, could outpace almost all attackers, and rarely lost any individual duels.

Yeah he's not someone who will go to the ground and block every shot. He has a more passive style, but people need to understand Liverpool's coaching staff don't want their players blocking shots. I think it was Ljinders who said they analyzed that the probability of a deflected shot going in, is higher than a shot from outside the box.

Now obviously there have been situations where Van Dijk could have put his body on the line, but it's also a coaching instruction.

He and everyone in Liverpool are having a bad season, but it's a transition season. They have an entirely new forward line, their midfield is finished, and this is giving the defense a harder time to work with. Everyone's level has dropped and they need a shake-up.

Ramos is great. He's clutch not just in terms of scoring, but he was winning everything in the box against guys like Lewandowski in the CL knockout rounds.

He just has way too many brain-dead moments. Ramos never had the aura that prime VVD did. No attacker feared him like they did VVD. Put VVD in Madrid and Madrid still win their CL's. Put Ramos in Liverpool and I doubt they are as successful.

A player can be elite for 5 years, but the one year they have a poor run of form people try to discredit them as if the previous 5 years were imaginary. Laughing


As successful as in winning a league title and a CL against Spurs?

Ramos played at a world class level for >10 years, on the same side with the most attacking oriented fullback of all time (who according to the lot can't defend), a slow midfielder in Kroos and a LW who has never defended in CR.

At the same time, it's easy to criticize Ramos for getting toasted, when most of the CBs you guys are comparing him to have played all their careers in defensive teams and low blocks (Godin, Chiellini, Barzagli, Bonucci and so), or with players whose sample size is like 2? seasons, like Van Dijk (against whom Barca scored 3 before capitulating in the return leg), who had 3 workhorses playing ahead of him in midfield, overall a team of extremely hard working players and Klopp's pressing system in his favor.

When Ramos played in a defensively sound team (like in 2019/20 for example), we had the best defence in Europe. When he played in a low block, like against Bayern in 2014, or a few other times in Europe, we never leaked goals. But thing is, we usually don't play like that, and we also don't have an organized system to cover for him, which probably cost us in terms of league titles, but won us CLs.

Coming back to brainfarts, how many could you have when you perform for 2 years ? Ramos' sample size is of 15 years?

Anyway, had a good laugh. In the end, Ramos will go down as an all time great with a CV that will obliterate most of these pretenders, who are, more or less, footnotes, and as the legendary captain (since we were talking about "aura") of the most successful European side in the modern game.
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Post by El Gunner Wed Mar 01, 2023 2:09 pm

Valkyrja wrote:Ramos played at a world class level for >10 years, on the same side with the most attacking oriented fullback of all time (who according to the lot can't defend), a slow midfielder in Kroos and a LW who has never defended in CR.
lol what a load of bulljive Laughing
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Post by Vibe Wed Mar 01, 2023 4:15 pm

If anything it was VVD never having an impressive defensive partner. On either side.

Ramos had a world class teammate in practically every position aside from right back, VVD had like 2 world class teammates in Alisson and Salah.
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Post by BarcaLearning Thu Mar 02, 2023 3:34 am

Vidic n Rio Ferdinand definitely were rated as the best pairing for a while right? I vividly remember how one game I watched Vidic won every header into the Man U box it was unbelievable how dominate he was physically lol. Rio made up for his relative lack of pace so it was a perfect partnership. Fergie was really good at building those.

Some players dip very quickly later on in their careers... pretty sad end to Pique's really, still a legend though Razz
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