Liverpool news: Virgil van Dijk ability questioned by Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben | Football | Sport
Fast forward a year and Van Dijk has been lauded for his displays in a red shirt as the Dutchman helped Liverpool reach the Champions League final last season and now the summit of the Premier League.
“I do not know if he is the best defender in the world,” Robben said.
Robben retired from international duty in 2017 after the Netherlands failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
The captain’s armband has now been handed to Van Dijk by new boss Ronald Koeman, and the defender scored a brilliant equaliser in a recent draw with rivals Germany.
“Other people are allowed to judge that [whether Van Dijk is the best defender in the world], but I’m happy for him,” Robben said.
“He has made big strides lately, just look where he comes from.
“He has grown as a player, but also as a personality, I am happy for him, where he is at the moment.
“He is a key player at a gigantic club, and he is the captain of the Dutch national team. He deserves all the compliments.”
Bayern Munich will make the trip to Anfield on February 19 and take on Liverpool at home on March 13, in a tie that Robben described as ‘the worst possible draw’ for his club.
He said: “Liverpool are doing well again, just like last year when they made it to the final.
“I see them as a favourite for the Champions League trophy this season.
“For us, it as perhaps the worst possible draw, but it’s going to be a great challenge, we have to look at ourselves, keep working hard and improve ourselves.
“If we have a good day and play the way we want, I’m sure we’ll make it very difficult for Liverpool.”