Alongside Van Dijk, the French center-back is one of Jurgen Klopp’s frequent team roster names at Anfield. When asked if Van Dijk is someone he looks up to, Konate said that he wants to surpass the Dutch defender before he hangs up his boots and instead idolizes Ramos, a former Real Madrid player and World Cup champion from Spain.
“Very few defenders have been able to have careers as successful as Van Dijk’s. He teaches me a lot, too. My objective is to have a better career than him, and he is aware of this. Sergio Ramos has been my No. 1 for a long time,” he stated in an interview with Le Parisien.
Raphael Varane, a World Cup champion from 2018 and Ramos’ former defensive partner at Real Madrid, made the decision to retire from international competition earlier in February at the age of 29. Konate was suggested as the Manchester United defender’s perfect replacement once he opted to leave France’s national team. The 24-year-old, however, has dismissed such rumors because he thinks he still has a long way to go before he can replace Varane.
Still not. It’s one of my objectives, but I’m still a long way from what Raphael Varane has accomplished, including all of his victories and records,” Konate said.
WHAT COMES NEXT? When Konate and Van Dijk square off in a Euro 2024 qualifying match between France and the Netherlands on Friday night at Johan Cruijff Arena, Konate will be hoping to prevail over Van Dijk.