Vincent Kompany has named Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk as the best centre-back in the history of the Premier League.
The Manchester City legend was back at the Etihad on Wednesday night for his testimonial, although a thigh injury ruled him out of the contest.
In the build-up to the game, Kompany was asked where he ranks himself among the Premier League’s best ever centre-backs.
And while he acknowledged comparisons can be problematic, the Belgian was keen to highlight Van Dijk ahead of some other big hitters.
“I never try to compare,” Kompany said. “My journey is different, I’ve had to deal with different tools and for me to not play this game, let’s not escape the irony.
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“So I’ve had to deal with that and I’ve tried to be substantial for my team.
“I would bring it back to Virgil van Dijk, he’s not been on the scene as long as [John] Terry and [Rio] Ferdinand who have been around for a long time but the signs he’s shown in the last few years show if he had been around longer he’d have been at the top for a long time.
“The Liverpool before Van Dijk and after are a completely different set up so, I’ll give him that one.”
Kompany, Terry and Ferdinand won multiple titles during their Premier League careers, while Nemanja Vidic is also often named among English football’s leading centre-backs.
Van Dijk is yet to win the Premier League with Liverpool but did help the Reds lift the Champions League trophy last season.
The Dutchman was part of a defence that conceded just 22 goals in 38 league outings last season, the fewest in the division.
Liverpool missed out on the title to Kompany’s City by just one point.