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Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand can’t pick Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk as his world No.1

And the former Manchester United and England star has scoffed at the idea that the Dutchman has been the best player in the Premier League this season.

Asked if Van Dijk was now the No.1 defender in the world, Ferdinand who won six Premier League titles and the Champions League during his time at Old Trafford, said: “I’d still put Sergio Ramos there.

“Ramos, when the big games come up, the trophies are there to be won, he’s normally standing there with his sleeves rolled up.

“He is not being shifted at the moment.

“To be considered the best in the world, you have got to win stuff as well.”

Rio Ferdinand

“To be considered the best in the world, you have got to win stuff as well.

“You cannot just play well for your team and sit there as runner-up or coming third or fourth.

“That’s why, when people talk about Player of the Year and you see they haven’t won anything but they are the best player, I am thinking, ‘How? You haven’t influenced a team to win things’.

“You need to be part of a team that is winning to be considered like that.

“Virgil is a fantastic player, potentially the best in the world but, right now, no.

Rio Ferdinand has stopped short of naming Virgil van Dijk the world’s best defender (Pic: GETTY)

“And I’d think he would agree. Winning is an essential part of winning personal accolades. You have to win.

“If Liverpool  win the league it’s legit but it would feel odd if he is the best player and they have come second or third.”

Van Dijk has been hailed for the difference he has made to Jurgen Klopp’s back four since moving to Anfield from Southampton 14 months ago for

£75million – a fee that remains a world record for a defender.

He has played a huge part in making Liverpool’s defence the meanest in Europe’s top five leagues this season.

And former Reds defender Jamie Carragher said Van Dijk’s performance in last weekend’s Merseyside derby was like watching “a man playing in a kid’s game”.

Sergio Ramos

According to Rio Ferdinand Sergio Ramos is the world’s best defender (Pic: GETTY)

But despite all that Ferdinand dismissed the notion that he could be named as Player of the Year.

Ferdinand added: “Virgil? No, no.

“There’s Raheem Sterling.

“Heung-min Son, though Tottenham have not won anything yet, Sergio Aguero, David Silva. Bernardo Silva, by the way…

“It’s difficult if they win the league.”

BT Sport has exclusively live coverage of the UEFA Champions League. Watch live on TV or via the BT Sport App.

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