You are reading that headline right. There are stats out there that seem to show Christophe Berra had a better season in 2011/12 than Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk is having right now.
The Dutch defender has been immense at the back for the Reds, winning the PFA player of the year in the process. His stats from this season are good, but the Hearts captain’s from his time in the EPL in 2011/12 are better.
At the time the current Hearts captain was at Wolves. He made 32 appearances with them as they finished rock bottom of the league. Van Dijk might be in the race to win the Premier League, but Berra trumps his stats.
Some may say it’s because the Scotsman had more defending to do. Others will say Berra is superior to the world’s most expensive centre-half.
Berra’s stats don’t lie
To be clear, the comparison I am making is between Berra’s 2011/12 season and Van Dijk’s current EPL season. I’m aware Berra is getting into the twilight years of his career and has perhaps handed his defending crown to the former Celtic defender.
Regardless, the stats are in the Jambos captain’s favour. Van Dijk may have only conceded 20 goals to Berra’s 62, but the former Wolves defender has better individual stats.
For the Liverpool man’s 17 blocks, Berra has 30. The Scotsman comes out on top in interceptions as well, having 46 to Van Dijk’s 40. They have made the same amount of last man tackles, but the Hearts skipper blows the Dutchman out the water with clearances. He made 251 compared to his 190.
Berra just about edges headed clearances 112-107. Their is another small consolation for Van Dijk, winning 164 aerial battles compared to the former Wolves man’s 63 aerial victories.
They have both made the same amount of errors leading to goals and the same amount of penalties conceded, one. For defensive stats anyway, Berra wins outright.
So there you have it, Berra had a better season stats wise in 2011/12 than Van Dijk has had so far in 2018/19. There is time for the Liverpool defender to make up some ground, but it is very unlikely he’ll overtake the Scotsman’s stats. Who knows what the Jambos skipper would have achieved if he was playing for one of the EPL’s top four.