Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund has named his best center-backs in the world and based his yardstick for selecting them on their physicality and intelligence.
“The best [center-backs] are Sergio Ramos, [Virgil] Van Dijk, and [Kalidou] Koulibaly. All three are very physical, but also very intelligent on the pitch”, Haaland told Norwegian news outlet VG.
Though Erling Haaland is just 20-year-old, he has grown to be one of the most sought after strikers in the world. The Norwegian is gradually becoming a household name in the game of football across the world. He recently won the 2020 Golden Boy award and he is currently one of the highest goalscorers in German Bundesliga this season.
Proud🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/7f2ozxxZYa— Erling Haaland (@ErlingHaaland) December 14, 2020
This season alone, he has scored 10 league goals and provided 2 assists in 8 games. He has scored a total of 17 goals and provided 3 assists in 14 games in all competitions in the 2020-2021 season.
Last season, Erling Haaland who joined Borussia Dortmund from RB Salzburg on January 1, 2020, for €20 million, scored a total of 44 goals and provided 10 assists in 40 games for both clubs.
Based on these stats, he understands what it takes to face strong defenders, and naming Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly as his three best center-backs in the world is not far from the obvious.
The three center-backs Erling Haaland named have been consistently at the top of their game in at least the last four years. The veteran among them is Ramos. The 34-year-old Spain international has been doing wonders for Real Madrid since 2005.
So far in his career with Madrid, Ramos has played 665 games in all competitions, scoring 100 goals and providing 40 assists despite being a defender.
On the other hand, Virgil van Dijk’s reign as one of the best defenders in the world received a massive boost when he joined Liverpool for €84.65 million from Southampton. Since then, the 29-year-old Netherlands international has made 130 appearances, providing 6 assists and scoring 13 goals.
While Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly has remained one of the most sought after center-backs in the world. The 29-year-old Senegal international has been with Napoli since 2014 after he joined the Italian club from KRC Genk for just €7.75 million. Since then, he has made 264 appearances, scoring 10 goals and providing 5 assists.