Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk has named his dream Premier League five-a-side team, and three Manchester City players made the cut in his star-studded line-up.
The Reds and City have been fiercely competitive rivals over the past few seasons, with Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola pitting their wits against one another for domestic — and European — supremacy.
Van Dijk’s dream PL five-a-side team: Five things to know…
- Virgil van Dijk was asked by Premier League Productions to name his dream Premier League five-a-side team.
- The only caveat to his selection process being that he could not include any of his Liverpool teammates.
- The Dutchman named three Man City stars in his final line-up, as well as an Arsenal and Spurs player.
- Van Dijk excluded players from Liverpool’s arch-rivals Man Utd, and also ‘Big Six’ competitors Chelsea.
- Despite City and Liverpool forging quite the rivalry in recent seasons, Van Dijk was quick to acknowledge the quality in Guardiola’s squad.
In 2017/18 Liverpool inflicted the first blow in City’s pursuit of an ‘Invincible’ season, beating Guardiola’s men 4-3 in a captivating Anfield clash, while they also eliminated City from the Champions League that same campaign, winning 5-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals.
Last season, Liverpool pushed City all the way in the title race, finishing the campaign just a point below their north-west adversaries, while this time round the Merseyside club have cantered to the Premier League summit.
Despite the developing rivalry between the two clubs, Van Dijk had no qualms selecting a number of City players for his dream five-a-side team, with the only caveat being that he could not include any of his Liverpool teammates.
In his preferred 1-2-1 formation, the Netherlands skipper opted for a trident of City stars, as well as two forwards from north London, omitting any Manchester United and Chelsea players from his line-up.
During an interview with Premier League Productions via the Liverpool website, Van Dijk named Ederson, Aymeric Laporte, Kevin De Bruyne, Son Heung-min and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang among the stars in his fantasy five-a-side team, and he explained why…
“I think he is an outstanding goalkeeper. I think this season there have been more better goalkeepers than we have seen maybe in the past, but I think Ederson is the best of the rest – I think Alisson is still number one, that’s my feeling.”
Defender: Aymeric Laporte
“He’s been showing how important he is for their team and I think he’s an outstanding defender. I think he’s a very, very, very good defender, so that’s why I pick him.”
Midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne
“It looks like it’s only City players! But Kevin De Bruyne, you don’t need to say too much about him. I think Kevin is a good guy first of all but he’s an outstanding player. You see things differently and yeah, respect only. He’s a fantastic player.”
Midfielder: Son Heung-min
“He’s quick, he’s strong, he goes out there to make life hell on the pitch for a defender. And his finishing – right foot, left foot – is just outstanding so I think I would pick him.”
Forward: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
“Based on what he has done throughout the season. Together Lacazette and Aubameyang are a fantastic striking duo. I could also put Aguero in but I think he’s a good striker and I think the numbers have showed that as well since he arrived.”