Van Dijk not the best centre-back in the world …Everton forward Richarlison fires salvo ahead of tomorrow’s Merseyside derby

Richarlison has taken aim at Virgil van Dijk ahead of the Merseyside derby tomorrow by claiming there are three better defenders in the world.

Van Dijk and his Liverpool team-mates are on the cusp of winning the Premier League, and need just two more wins to secure a first title in 30 years ahead of their clash with Everton.

They were hopeful of securing it at Goodison Park, the home of their rivals, but Arsenal failed to take points off second place Manchester City.

Brazilian forward Richarlison and Everton will be keen to put a block in Liverpool’s path to the title – and he knows he has to overcome Van Dijk to do so.

The Holland international is widely regarded as one of the best players in the world and has been shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or, finishing in the top three last year, along with winning the Champions League. 

But 23-year-old Richarlison has reminded Van Dijk that he is one of few players to dribble past him in recent seasons.

‘People talk a lot about him, yes he is a great defender but I’ve already dribbled past him,’ Richarlison said of Van Dijk in an interview with Desimpedidos.

‘He was chosen as one of the top three in the world as he had an excellent season. But yes, for me there are better defenders.’

When pressed on who is better than Van Dijk, the Brazilian named two of his compatriots and a Real Madrid star, replying: ‘Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Sergio Ramos’.

Jurgen Klopp has also made clear that overcoming Everton will be a challenge for his side tomorrow.

The Liverpool manager said: ‘When you analyse Everton now you have to look as well to Napoli or any other team because Carlo Ancelotti has a specific way he wants his team to play and he is long enough there now to push that through.

‘So, it will be a football-playing side, they will play as much football as we let them.

‘We have to find challenges, win challenges, use gaps, find gaps and all that stuff.’ –Mailonline

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