Vincent Kompany ranks Virgil van Dijk as the Premier League's greatest ever defender

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Virgil van Dijk could soon become the first defender in 13 years to win the Ballon d'Or. 

Fabio Cannavaro was the last man to achieve that feat after Italy's World Cup triumph in 2006. 

Momentum seems to be gathering for the Dutchman to be honoured thanks to his role in transforming Liverpool from a defensive laughing stock into European champions. 

The £75million defender was recently surpassed by Harry Maguire as the Premier League's most expensive defender of all time. 

However, that's a reflection on the current state of the market, rather than their respective abilities. 

Even Liverpool's fiercest enemies would struggle to argue that their imperious vice-captain is not the best defender in English football right now. 

Van Dijk is up there with the very best the Premier League has seen. 

Indeed, Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany has claimed his great rival from last season is the division's greatest ever. 

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Speaking ahead of his testimonial at the Etihad on Wednesday night, Kompany is quoted by Goal:

"I would bring it back to Virgil van Dijk, he’s not been on the scene as long as [John] Terry, [Rio] Ferdinand who have been around for a long time but the signs he’s shown in the last few years. 

"He's shown if he had been around longer he’d have been at the top for a long time.

"The Liverpool before Van Dijk and after are a completely different setup. I’ll give him that one."

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Accordingly, Van Dijk was recently named UEFA Men's Player of the Year at the Champions League group stage draw, ahead of attackers Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. 

That really does speak volumes about the impact he has had on Merseyside. 

In his first full season with the Reds, Jurgen Klopp's men conceded 24 fewer league goals than the previous campaign and amassed a club record points tally of 97. 

Yet it wasn't enough to beat City to the title. No wonder Kompany is in such a generous mood. 

It's quite the claim to rank him above the likes of Terry and Ferdinand, but Van Dijk is definitely up there with the very best. 

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