Wednesday Aug 05, 2020. 09:00
Legendary Ivorian defender Kolo Toure has praised Dutch centre back Virgil Van Dijk and also revealed his weakness.
Van Dijk is considered by some as the best defender in world football at the moment having played an instrumental role in helping Liverpool FC clinch the UEFA Champions League and English Premier League.
The 29-year-old player is also the only defender to win UEFA Men’s Player of the Year, and has finished runner-up for the Ballon d’Or and Best FIFA Men’s Player.
Having lifted the Premier League title with Arsenal FC and Manchester City, before turning out for Liverpool between 2013 and 2016, Toure discussed Van Dijk’s qualities as a defender.
“He’s an unbelievable player. He’s a top player. He’s got speed, height, he can jump. He’s got technique. He can switch the game with his long passes. He has got everything,” Toure said on Goal.
“I haven’t seen many players challenge him one on one. In my opinion, that’s his weakness! He’s really tall and if you really attack him with the ball, he can struggle, but he’s so clever.”
Toure, who is now serving as an assistant manager at former Premier League champions Leicester City, believes that Van Dijk has benefitted from playing alongside young English defender Joe Gomez at Liverpool.
“He’s so clever because he drops well, but if you are really aggressive in attack in a one-on-one, I think you can get something from him,” Toure added.
“He’s a really clever player. He’s got [Joe] Gomez on his side, good players on his side to help him as well. There are good players around him and I think that makes his game easy, but I think he’s got so many qualities.”
Toure represented the Ivory Coast at seven Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals between 2002 and 2015, helping them finish runner-up in 2006 and 2012, while winning in 2015.