Richarlison took a big dig at Virgil van Dijk ahead of the Merseyside derby

Football matches are great. They’re fun, they’re fun, they give us all a (usually) harmless outlet for tribalism. It’s even better when the players really buy into their passion, get angry on the pitch and fuel the fire with big words in the build-up.

Anyway, Richarlison is talking about something…

The Brazilian’s pointed comments come ahead of Everton’s home clash with Merseyside rivals Liverpool on Sunday, a match which, if the Reds win, will put them within three points of a first Premier League title.

The Toffees, on the other hand, don’t just need three points for pride, but also chase an unlikely European berth this season.

Pro @richarlison97

— Bolivia Zica (@boliviazica) June 18, 2020

If they are to have any hope of that, they will need Richterlison to be on top form, and in an apparent attempt to give himself an extra edge at Goodison Park, he made a statement about the PFA Player of the Year. What a bold claim, UEFA Player of the Year and Ballon d’Or runner-up van Dijk.

“People talk about it a lot. [Van Dijk]yes he’s a great defender but I’m already ahead of him,” the Everton forward told Brazilian YouTube channel Desempedidos, adding, “Richler Lisson has named three defenders better than Van Dijk”.

“He was picked as one of the top three in the world because he had the best season. But yes, there are better defenders for me.”

Van Dijk and Richardson last time Everton met Liverpool/Paul Ellis/Getty Images

So who are the three defenders that rank him so high? Well, Sergio Ramos gets a shout out, as do fellow Brazilians Thiago Silva and Marquinhos.

The approval for Silva is particularly interesting, with Carlo Ancelotti rumored to be eyeing a move for the soon-to-be free agent. A gentle nudge from Richarlison, perhaps?

After all, what has been said is clearly a ploy to prepare what will be a unique Merseyside derby with no fan presence. Truth be told, Everton will need all the help they can get if history is to be anything to go by, having not beaten Liverpool in a competition since 2010 – when Richarlison was 13.

For more from Ross Kennerly, follow him on Twitter!

Leave a Comment