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‘Van Dijk is one of the best ever’ – Liverpool legend Hysen admits he’d be ‘crap’ in modern era

15:30 BST 25/07/2020
Virgil van Dijk Liverpool
The former Reds centre-half is a big fan of the Premier League title-winning star, who he says has taken the art of defending to new heights

Virgil van Dijk has become “one of the best ever” when it comes to the art of defending, says Glenn Hysen, with the Liverpool legend saying he would be made to look “crap” by the modern-day elite.

The former Sweden international spent three years at Anfield in his playing career between 1989 and 1992.

He formed part of a title-winning squad in 1990, with that turning out to be the last such triumph enjoyed by the Reds in 30 years.

A long wait for top-flight glory has been brought to a close by the class of 2019-20, with Van Dijk proving to be a key man in Jurgen Klopp’s plans.

The Netherlands international is considered to be the finest centre-half on the planet and came agonisingly close to pipping Lionel Messi to the prestigious Ballon d’Or in 2019.

Hysen feels the Dutchman has taken up a standing among the all-time greats, telling the Liverpool Echo: “Virgil van Dijk is so calm, he’s so confident. I was half-decent compared to him but he’s much better with the ball.

“He can play the ball and is more technical than I was. He’s one of the best ever.

“I’d probably be crap if I was playing now, I’d be too slow. It’s so quick now, not my style.”

Hysen is delighted to see Liverpool back on top of the domestic game in England, with the Swede surprised that it has taken so long for the Reds’ current crop to emulate what he once did.

“It hurts that after all this time the fans weren’t able to be in the stadium to see them win the title but the most important thing is that they’ve been able to finish the job and clinch it on the pitch – you can always celebrate with the supporters later,” he added on a campaign disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Obviously you need to have good players but the atmosphere at the ground makes it magic.

“The most important thing is the song, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. Coming up from the dressing room you could hear it before you even get to the pitch.

“It would have been a travesty if they’d not had the chance to win the league though because they are so much better than the other teams.

“When I played, Liverpool had a very good team. Then in the following decade there were the likes of Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and all those guys so they had some fantastic teams but the current side are absolutely magnificent.

“If somebody had told me in 1990 that it was going to be another 30 years until Liverpool won the league again, you’d have said: ‘Are you kidding? Are you drunk or something?’”