• Haaland has scored 23 goals in 20 games this season
  • He is expected to leave Dortmund in the summer
  • Liverpool are interested in signing Haaland

Erling Haaland has called Liverpool FC center-back Virgil van Dijk a “physical monster” before terming the Dutchman as “the best defender.”

Haaland has established himself as one of the most prolific strikers in the world, having scored 80 goals in 79 competitive matches for Borussia Dortmund since joining the German club in January 2020.

Van Dijk, who is one of the key members of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, has etched his name alongside one of the leading center-backs.

Haaland believes Van Dijk’s physical presence gives the Anfield star an edge over his counterparts.

"You know how tall he is, how strong he is and how fast he is, and also the timing is crazy. I don’t think I won one duel against him because he’s a physical monster," Haaland said on ESPN.

In another interview, Haaland also named Sergio Ramos, along with Van Dijk, when he was asked about the toughest defender he has faced so far. He called the former Real Madrid skipper “really smart.”

"Sergio Ramos was really smart and good so either one of them," said Haaland, according to Liverpool Echo.

Last year, Haaland had called Van Dijk "the best defender" in the world and it looks like the Norwegian has not changed his opinion about the Liverpool center-back.

“I do not really fear anyone, I think he is the best defender. I think quite a few others in the room [at the press conference] agree with me on that. He is fast, strong and ‘bad’ smart, and there are three important things you must have. I have played against him twice, I have said that he is the best I have met,” Haaland had said in an interview, according to Football365.

Haaland is expected to leave Dortmund in the 2022 summer as his release clause of $85 million will be activated. Quite a few top European clubs are competing to land Haaland, one of the most talented young strikers at present, including Liverpool.

Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund reacts following their sides victory after the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and SpVgg Greuther Fürth at Signal Iduna Park on December 15, 2021 in Dortmund, Germany. Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Even Van Dijk has acknkwleged that Haaland is a "special striker."

“Haaland is a special striker. He’s so strong, he’s quick, he’s got all the attributes to make a defender’s life very difficult. [It’s a] bit like how Jamie Vardy plays. The only thing I think Haaland has is maybe he’s a little bit stronger than Vardy but it could be very difficult to defend against,” Van Dijk said in an interview, according to Sport Bibble.

Haaland has scored 23 goals and six assists in 20 competitive matches for Dortmund this season.