German centre-back Niklas Sule is impressed by the rise of his Dutch counterpart, Virgil Van Dijk and hopes to emulate what the Liverpool defender has accomplished so far.
The Bavarian centre-back is full of praise for Van Dijk who he describes as the best defender in the world.
The 28-year-old secured a switch to the Reds from Southampton in 2018 in a recordbreaking transfer fee for a defender, before helping the Merseyside outfit to Champions League glory.
As well as being a constant figure in the Reds’ starting XI, the captain of the Dutch National team was also revealed as the runners-up behind Lionel Messi in last year’s Best FIFA Men’s Player Award.
Sule insists that Van Dijk is currently one of the top defenders in the game and the centre-back aims to follow that line.
“Virgil van Dijk went to Liverpool at 27 and took the step to become the best defender in the world. He is now at the top at just under 30,” the 24-year-old said in an interview with Bayern’s 51 magazine.
“As a central defender, you have your best phase from the mid-20s. You have the necessary experience and clarity, at the same time you are physically in top shape.
“I want to take the next big step in the next two or three years. And when people say that I belong the best in the world, I’m happy. That’s my goal.
“I will work hard on myself, then it will be up to me whether I become one of the best central defenders in the world or not.”
The Bayern defender joined the Bavarians on a five-year-contract in 2017 after securing a move from Hoffenheim. The defender has since made 96 appearances for the Bundesliga giants.