Rio Ferdinand slams Liverpool star amid poor form after Real Madrid defeat

The former Manchester United defender made comparisons to defensive greats of the past.

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Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand compared Virgil Van Dijk’s form to greats of the past and claimed that they never had ‘big periods off’ amid his inconsistent form this season.

Liverpool fell to a one-goal defeat at the hands of Real Madrid, with the 14-time Champions League winners eliminating Jurgen Klopp’s side for the third season in a row.

Karim Benzema tapped-in the winner as Madrid ran out 6-2 winners on aggregate, but Liverpool were lucky not to concede more as Los Blancos enjoyed a dominant display.

Speaking post-match, Ferdinand compared Van Dijk to greats of the past including John Terry, Jaap Stam and his former defensive partner in Nemanja Vidic, claiming that the very best did not have ‘big periods’ out of form.

“You look at great centre-halves like Vidic, Kompany, Campbell, Terry, Jaap Stam they don’t have a season off or big periods like eight to nine games off.” The BT Sport pundit said.

“The form of the team plays a part though and it does have an impact and sometimes you’re as good as team around you. [Van Dijk] hasn’t had the team performing in the way that suits his style of play.

“It’s difficult at the moment because he’s getting exposed in one-vs-ones. If they are playing well you don’t even notice him and he just mops up everything.”

The goalscorer Benzema spoke out after the game about he told midfielder Eduaro Camavinga that the Liverpool centre-backs ‘open up a lot’ which led to the young star threading a brilliant ball to the striker who’s touch fell to Vinicius Jr before he tapped-in to score his third goal of the tie.

But Van Dijk reflected post-match explaining how difficult it is to play against such an accomplished and experienced side: “You play against a team who never get fazed a little bit. Even when you put them under pressure, even if [they] have difficult moments, they stay calm and obviously they have the players, if you look at Modric, Benzema – they’re difference-makers.”.