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And the Dutch defender, 30, has failed to find room for either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

Van Dijk and the Reds are currently preparing for the Champions League Final against Real Madrid on Saturday.

Before that crunch clash in Paris, the former Southampton and Celtic ace sat down with ex-Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand to discuss who he would love to have alongside him for a small-sided kickabout.

Van Dijk instantly named Liverpool’s brilliant Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson as the man he wanted to guard the net behind him.

However, he then decided to mix it up by declining to include any other members of Jurgen Klopp’s side in it.

And instead he opted for a player that helped Manchester City to pip Liverpool to the Premier League title.

Belgian magician Kevin De Bruyne was the man chosen to pull the strings in the middle of the park.

In attack it was Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe, who has just signed a bumper new contract, who would be leading the line.

And he would be partnered by the very man Van Dijk is out to stop on Saturday – Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.

That meant there was no room at all for Ronaldo or Messi – despite the pair being the two greatest players on the planet over the last decade.

However, Van Dijk was quick to hail the latter as his toughest ever opponent.

He said: “I’ve played against Sergio Aguero who was unbelievable.

“I’ve played against [Lionel] Messi… arguably the best player in the history of football, in my opinion. [Kylian] Mbappe is a different type of quick.

“It’s a different type of striker we face nowadays. Such as [Erling] Haaland, Darwin [Nunez] who is a bit similar. Quick, direct, strong, it’s quite difficult to face those guys.”

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