Ibrahima Konate vows to become 'Better' than Liverpool team-mate Virgil van Dijk and insists he is 'learning a lot' from him... as he prepares to face off against the Dutchman with France


Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate has laid out his ambitions to become better than his team-mate Virgil van Dijk.

The centre-back is currently away with the France national team and could face off against the Dutchman when his side play the Netherlands in a Euro 2024 qualifier on Friday night. 

Konate joined Liverpool from RB Leipzig in 2021 and has since played 61 times for the Reds, though he has started just twice in this campaign - with Van Dijk and Joel Matip looking like Jurgen Klopp's starting centre-backs.

However, the 24-year-old insists he is 'learning a lot' from the Dutch defender and that his long-term goal is to surpass him. 

'Very few defenders have managed to do what Van Dijk has done,' he said ahead of the game, as per RMC Sport. 

He is a great defender, from whom I am learning a lot. Now, my objective, and he knows it, is to become better than him.'

He added that former Real Madrid centre-back Sergio Ramos was originally his 'No 1 model' who he 'followed a lot' as he now bids to carve out his own path. 

This season Konate has played 220 minutes for Liverpool, with two starts in the league coming in a 3-1 win against Leicester and in a 3-1 win against Bournemouth.

His other three appearances in the top flight this season have come from the bench - though he has enjoyed two starts in the Europa League and one in the League Cup - showing that Klopp is keen to give him game time in cup competitions. 

Van Dijk, meanwhile, has started six times in the Premier League and once in the Europa League. 

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