Rio Ferdinand’s Virgil van Dijk claim after latest Romelu Lukaku brilliance at Euro 2020

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Rio Ferdinand has declared Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk is the only defender in Europe capable of dealing with Romelu Lukaku's precocious ability and physical prowess.

Lukaku, 28, fired Inter Milan to the Serie A title with 24 goals last season and has carried over his imperious form to Euro 2020.

The Belgium marksman has been unplayable at times and is the joint-top scorer at the tournament with three goals from three group-stage games.

The Red Devils finished top of Group B with a 100 per cent record after beating Finland 2-0 on Monday night, with Lukaku netting his side's second goal.

Lukaku has been in fantastic form for Belgium at Euro 2020

Ferdinand heaped praise on the former Everton and Manchester United star after the match while analysing his superb second-half goal.

Lukaku received the ball in the area, turned Finland defender Daniel O'Shaughnessy and finished with his weaker right foot, leaving Ferdinand in no doubt only 6'4" Van Dijk can cope with the striker.

"The big thing there is the defender," the former England centre-back told Match of the Day . "He controls the situation.

"The minute the defender touches him (Lukaku) and feels him then with his strength and power. He knows where he is.

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"He then controls the whole situation. I don’t any defender, apart from Van Dijk, physically who could be able to deal with that."

Van Dijk is not playing for Netherlands at Euro 2020, so we will not see him line up against Belgium and Lukaku at one of the later stages of the tournament, with both nations through to the last 16 with three wins from three in the group stage.

The Liverpool centre-back has been missing since he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament rupture last October.

Can a fit Virgil van Dijk cope with the offensive threat of Romelu Lukaku? Have your say in the comments.

Though he has been rehabilitating in the gym and on the training pitch for many months, the 29-year-old made the decision to miss the tournament, allowing extra time to prepare for the upcoming Premier League season.

Ferdinand has made no secret of his admiration for Van Dijk in the past and previously labelled him the best defender in the world in a comparison with United legend Nemanja Vidic.

"Prime Van Dijk or prime Vidic? Ooooh, good question," said Ferdinand in March 2020.

"I’ve got to go with Vidic because he was my partner, man. He was my partner. He covered my back and I covered his. That was it.

"I love Van Dijk, don’t get me wrong. I love him. Best defender in the world now, definitely.

"I’d love to have seen him play in our time, seen what he was about. That would have been interesting. But top player."

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