The Dutchman missed most of the 2020/21 campaign after picking up a serious knee injury in a Merseyside derby versus Everton.
Without Van Dijk marshalling the back-line, Jurgen Klopp’s team was noticeably inferior and it meant their attempt at retaining the Premier League title was a pretty poor one.
But this season, Liverpool look like a team capable of winning major trophies again and their towering centre-back has been performing to an incredibly high standard.
So it begs the question; is post-injury Van Dijk the best player in his position on the planet?
Well, according to FourFourTwo, he is not.
The publication have named and ranked what they believe are the 10 best centre-backs in the world, with the Liverpool man sitting in second place.
Let’s take a look at the list in full…
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The 10 best centre-backs in world football
10. Sergio Ramos (Paris Saint-Germain)
9. Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City)
8. Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan)
7. David Alaba (Real Madrid)
6. Jules Kounde (Sevilla)
5. Raphael Varane (Manchester United)
4. Harry Maguire (Manchester United)
3. Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain)
2. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
1. Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
In a move that will irritate Liverpool fans, FourFourTwo have ranked Dias ahead of Van Dijk following the incredible start to his City career.
The 24-year-old has transformed the team’s defence since signing from Benfica in 2020 and was duly named the 2020/21 Premier League Player of the Season.
City, United and PSG are the three teams to have two centre-backs feature, while the Bundesliga is the only member of Europe’s top five leagues without a single representative on the list.
Chelsea‘s Antonio Rudiger is perhaps the most surprising omission of all, because the German has evolved into a true world beater under the leadership of Thomas Tuchel.
Maybe next time, Antonio.