Dortmund hotshot Erling Haaland names top three central defenders in the world

Erling Haaland included Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk as he named the top three central defenders in the world.

The Borussia Dortmund sensation has run riot against some of Europe’s finest defenders over the last year and scored 33 goals in 32 games to win the 2020 Golden Boy award.

Nonetheless, Haaland appreciates the art of defending and he claims three centre-backs stand out from the rest of the pack.

Among the trio is Van Dijk, whom Haaland faced in last season’s Champions League group stage while still playing for RB Salzburg. The 20-year-old scored but the Austrian club were beaten 4-3 in a thrilling Anfield fixture, before Liverpool won 2-0 at Red Bull Arena.

At the age of 20, Haaland has faced some of the finest defenders in the world

Explaining his selections, Haaland told Norwegian paper VG : “I think the best three central defenders in the world are Sergio Ramos, Virgil van Dijk and Kalidou Koulibaly.

“All three are very physical, but also very intelligent on the pitch.”

Haaland also faced Napoli centre-back Koulibaly in last season’s Champions League group stage, scoring three goals in two games against the Serie A club.

Haaland scored for Salzburg in an Anfield thriller

The Norwegian netted three goals in two encounters with Koulibaly’s Napoli

Meanwhile, he is heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid – where Spain legend Sergio Ramos is club captain and has made over 650 appearances.

Haaland is also linked with a transfer to Manchester United and spoke of how he was inspired by a number of his compatriots as he grew up – including Red Devils hero and current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

“As a child, I watched John Carew a lot, I also followed Solskjaer and John Arne Riise,” he added.

Haaland saw his electric start to the current season brought to an end by a hamstring injury but he is expecting to be available next month.

And he had a warning for Dortmund’s opponents Wolfsburg ahead of Sunday’s Bundesliga clash, saying: “I’ve set myself a goal for 2021, I want to start full throttle against them and not stop until the end of the season.”

Is Erling Haaland the best striker in Europe? Have your say in the comments.

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