Virgil van Dijk has weighed in on Liverpool team-mate Dejan Lovren's feud with Sergio Ramos, describing the Real Madrid captain as "not my type of defender".
Lovren mocked Ramos in the lead up to Croatia's Nations League victory over Spain on Thursday, claiming the Madrid man is made to look better by team-mates, and took another swipe after the game.
The Liverpool man was filmed in an Instagram video calling Ramos and the Spain squad "p******", before uploading a picture of himself beating Ramos in an aerial duel in a separate post.
Ramos had attempted to defuse the row in a pre-game news conference, insisting he had no interest in responding to the initial criticism, but Lovren claimed Luis Enrique's side lacked class in defeat.
Van Dijk – who featured in Netherlands' 2-0 Nations League win over France on Friday – now appears to have thrown his support behind Lovren by saying that while he does rate Ramos, he prefers his Madrid team-mate Raphael Varane.
"He is a great player and I respect what he has achieved but he is not the best, he is not my type of central defender," Van Dijk told De Telegraaf.
"Ramos' team-mate at Real Madrid, Raphael Varane, is my favourite. He is an excellent defender and has already won a lot."
The origin of Lovren's dispute with Ramos appears to go back to the Champions League final in May when the Madrid defender's robust challenge on Mohamed Salah ended the Egyptian's participation in the match.
Van Dijk believes Madrid took advantage of Salah's absence by ganging up on young full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold and feels the result might have been different had their talisman remained on the pitch.
"I do not know if it was deliberate but mentally something changed when Salah came off," he added.
"Suddenly, Marcelo, [Karim] Benzema and [Cristiano] Ronaldo all appeared at Trent's side and left the entire right side. With Salah they never dared to do that.
"The match could have been different [had Salah stayed on].
"I sometimes think about the match but I hope to be in the final again and on the right side of the score."
21 de mayo 2019
|Shahzad and Naib star as Afghanistan bounce back in Belfast|
|Argentina has strongest possible squad - Scaloni|
|Kohli expecting his ´most challenging World Cup´ yet|
|Kompany set for Manchester City testimonial at Etihad Stadium|
|Love you man – Lewis Hamilton pays tribute to Niki Lauda|
|Garitano replaces Abelardo as Alaves coach|
|O.J. Simpson´s No. 32 Bills jersey assigned for first time in 42 years|
|Dybala, Aguero in Argentina´s Copa America squad as Icardi is left out|
|Demare opens Giro account after Ackermann crash|
|A world champion with Ferrari and McLaren - Lauda´s Formula One career in numbers|
|Eagles QB Carson Wentz will be full participant in OTAs|
|Deschamps: Pogba and Griezmann must be sure they want to move|
|Emery respects Mkhitaryan decision to miss Europa League final|
|Lauda ´a giant´ of Formula One, says former rival Andretti|
|Lenglet receives first France call-up, Laporte and Lacazette miss out|
|Archer thinks IPL experience gives him World Cup advantage|
|Deschamps rejects Juventus speculation|
|Neuer and James train ahead of DFB-Pokal final|
|Kompany back in Belgium squad|
|Chelsea v Arsenal: UEFA provided ´comprehensive´ Mkhitaryan security plan|
|Leinster and Ireland prop Healy signs new two-year deal|
|Firmino trains alongside Liverpool team-mates|
|England´s Parris joins Champions League winners Lyon|
|I´ve lived the dream - Wallabies legend Smith retires|
|A legend has left us - Button, Howard, Schwarzenegger pay tribute to F1 great Niki Lauda|
|Inspirational athlete and entrepreneur Lauda leaves lasting legacy|
|Arsenal´s Mkhitaryan to miss Europa League final in Baku|
|Giroud extends Chelsea contract|
|De Ligt drops Barcelona hint: It would be nice to play with Frenkie|
|Griezmann rejection ´hurt´ Barcelona, says Xavi|
|Rosberg ´strongly inspired´ by Lauda|
|Borussia Dortmund sign Germany defender Schulz|
|My blood is blue - Giroud relishing facing Arsenal in Europa League final|
|Wolff: Mercedes has lost a guiding light in legendary Lauda|
|Archer, Dawson named in England squad|
|Niki Lauda: Hill mourns ´remarkable´ three-time F1 champion|
|Bale named in Wales training squad amid Madrid exit speculation|
|Osasuna seal LaLiga return|
|Don´t underrate Warriors´ five straight NBA Finals – Kerr|
|Mets snap five-game losing streak|
|Warriors first team to five straight NBA Finals since 1966 Celtics|
|Green plans to fly out reporter for NBA Finals: You were good luck today|
|Three takeaways from Warriors´ sweep of Trail Blazers|
|Curry & Warriors team-mate Green make NBA playoff history|
|Warriors sweep Trail Blazers to reach NBA Finals|
|Mbappe wanted Madrid but PSG convinced him to stay – Emery|
|Pelinka: Lakers can win NBA championship next year|
|Three-time F1 champion Niki Lauda dies aged 70|
|Pochettino or Sarri for Juve? We´ll see – Lippi|
|Buccaneers release McCoy after nine seasons|
|England want to leave Europe and they´re in two finals – Mancini jokes about Brexit|
|Raptors star Leonard ´will be ready´ to face Bucks – Nurse|
|Iguodala out of Game 4 against Trail Blazers|
|Allegri inducted into Italian Football Hall of Fame|
|Steelers QB Roethlisberger ´genuinely sorry´ for Brown comments|
|Mets´ Cespedes fractures ankle in ranch accident|
|Italy remain at top table, Great Britain rally to relegate France|
|Guardiola convinced Kompany´s destined to return to Manchester City|
|Yastremska sets up Stosur clash in Strasbourg|
20 de mayo 2019
|Anderson stars for Lancashire on return from injury|
|Ebden and Seppi shocked in Geneva, Humbert shines at Lyon Open|
|AFC Champions League Review: Spain great Xavi ends playing career with defeat|
|Bernardo Silva makes Champions League pledge after winning Man City award|
|Henin impressed by Halep ahead of French Open defence|
|I love you, I´m out - Departing Kompany has his mic-drop moment in City´s trophy parade|
|Abelardo opts to leave post as Alaves coach|
|Magic Johnson points finger at Pelinka after Lakers power struggle|
|Junaid deletes inflammatory tweet following World Cup squad omission|
|Bosz: Champions League improves chances of keeping Brandt & Havertz|
|PSG insist Mbappe will stay despite forward´s ´new project´ comments|