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Marco Materazzi claims Man Utd target is a better centre-back than Virgil Van Dijk

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Former Everton defender Marco Materazzi believes reported Manchester United target Kalidou Koulibaly is one of the top three central defenders in the world but couldn't find a place for Liverpool's Virgil Van Dijk in his list.

Van Dijk, 27, has enjoyed a sensational season for Liverpool and has been tipped to win the PFA Player of the Year next month such has been his influence for the Premier League title challengers.

It appears as though Van Dijk has work to do to convince Materazzi of his quality with the 2006 World Cup winner suggesting that Sergio Ramos, Koulibaly and Alessio Romagnoli are all better than him.

When asked by Suning PPSports TV who he thought the best defenders in the world are, Materazzi responded: 'I think that right now, among the strongest centre backs are Koulibaly, Sergio Ramos and Romagnoli.

Ramos has cemented his reputation as one of the world's best defenders down the years having won every major honour possible with Real Madrid and Spain while Romagnoli has a growing reputation having impressed for an inconsistent AC Milan side this term.

Materazzi's omission of Van Dijk in his top three is controversial given his form this season.

Materazzi had an indifferent season-long spell with Everton in the late 1990s and enjoyed far greater success with Inter with whom he won a treble in 2010.

For more news relating to Everton, visit our sister site EFC Live.
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