Tottenham Hotspur forward Lucas Moura has questioned the validity of the famous stat that Virgil van Dijk has not yet been dribbled past at Liverpool.
The Dutch colossus had a superb season in 2018/19, winning the PFA Player of the Year award, while also helping the Reds to their sixth European triumph.
One stat that has gained notoriety during his meteoric rise is that van Dijk has not been dribbled past by an opponent in 64 matches - though Spurs' Moura, for one, is unsure whether it is entirely truthful.
During an interview with Brazilian YouTube channel Desimpedidos, Moura was asked if his Dutch counterpart was over-hyped, replying (as quoted by Sport Witness): "Hey, the guy’s good. He’s two metres tall, strong, and the Liverpool team is a very good fit, with a lot of chemistry."
However, the Spurs man was less convinced about the aforementioned performance-data.
Discussing the statistics, he said: "Dude, now this question there, I don’t know if it’s true. They say he hasn’t been dribbled past since… whatever. If the guy is past him, it’s already a dribble.
"The guys must have gone past him now. I know I scored a goal against Liverpool, we lost, but I scored against Liverpool and he was left behind. But he’s great. He is."
Despite being impressed by van Dijk's immense displays last term, Moura refused to label him the greatest defender on the planet.
He added: "In the world… there are a lot of people there. But for the season, I think he’s among the three. Among the three!"
On the subject of the Champions League final defeat to van Dijk's Liverpool, Moura also discussed his omission from the starting lineup, despite being the hero of the semi-finals with his hat-trick against Ajax.
“Of course I got upset,” Moura revealed. “I wish I had started. But I got so much more upset that we lost. We believed very much that we were able to be champions. And man, it was difficult. I cried a lot after the game. Because it was so close, so close.
“But what if I had started playing? We can’t tell whether we would have won or not, what would have happened. This is difficult to answer. Manager’s mind, no one can understand. We must respect, accept.”
“He didn’t say anything. He just showed the lineup and that was it. Every manager has his style. Each has his own way of being. There are some who are drier, some who talk more. He in that situation there, he didn’t say anything. Not that he has to. But it could have been better. He didn’t say, what can I do?”