Rio Ferdinand knows one or two things about world-class Premier League defending.
Ferdinand not only had the mettle, heart and desire necessary for anyone hoping to thrive in England’s top-flight, but he also channeled the oft-underrated mantra of ‘positive defending’ so typical of Bobby Moore.
Ferdinand and Van Dijk
The United legend imbued England’s World Cup-winning captain with his ability to dash into midfield from the back-line, oozing class with the ball at his feet in a manner that, frankly, was ahead of its time.
And just as there were shades of Moore in Ferdinand, there’s good reason to believe that there are shades of Ferdinand in Virgil van Dijk.
Liverpool‘s juggernaut lives and breathes the notion that every player on the pitch should be excellent with the ball at their feet, often attracting the classic “Rolls Royce” label for his silkiness in possession.
Yes, he’d smash his forehead into a brick to keep a clean sheet for the Reds, but the true spirit of his game shines in the fizzing diagonal balls, gluey first touches and velvety passes out from the back.
Marry that to generally being one of the greatest players in Premier League history and we shouldn’t be all that surprised to see Van Dijk and Ferdinand being regularly compared across social media.
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What does Ferdinand think?
And while, like with most every debate in football, there’s never going to be an objective answer to that most fascinating of comparisons, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t some telling perspectives to unpick within the discourse.
Namely, that of Ferdinand himself, who is never more than a few days away from giving his insightful views on the beautiful game over on his ‘Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE‘ YouTube channel.
And not only did the Van Dijk conversation pop during his latest appearance, but it did so under particularly unique circumstances as Ferdinand gave his thoughts on the debate while hooked up to a lie detector.
Ferdinand faces lie detector test
BT Sport have been using a polygraph machine to see if people really believe their own predictions for the 2022/23 Premier League season and Ferdinand couldn’t escape without taking a spell in the hot seat.
So, when presenter Joel Beya ‘went there’ by asking: “Virgil van Dijk, do you look at him and think: ‘he’s better than me, you know’?” the audience was always going to be left on the edge of their seats.
I wanted to know what happened, you want to know what happens, so be sure to check out how Ferdinand responded and what the lie detector made of his reply by watching the video down below:
Lie detector test shows that Rio Ferdinand thinks VVD is better than he was 😂 pic.twitter.com/90SePXL7Q0— The Anfield Buzz (@TheAnfieldBuzz) August 18, 2022
Well, well, well. What do you have to say about that, Rio?
Ferdinand vs Van Dijk debate
Now, obviously, the whopping caveat here is that lie detectors aren’t 100% accurate and Ferdinand was more than happy to elucidate the reasons why he thinks he has the upper hand over Van Dijk.
And it goes without saying that Ferdinand was at pains to double down on his respect for the Liverpool star who every man, woman and dog being honest with themselves knows is an absolute don.
Nevertheless, you can understand why Liverpool fans are chuckling to themselves amid the possibility that Ferdinand doesn’t actually, deep down, believe that he’s better than the new kid on the block.
Either way, though, Ferdinand makes the pertinent point that we need to see Van Dijk’s career in full, so everyone can put their medals on the table, to assess which of the two legends comes out on top.
But go on, we know you have an opinion on the matter already. Let’s hear it.