No one will ever forget his Maradona- Esque goal for the Scottish Champions, Celtic, leaving six opponents in his wake before beating the goalkeeper. He was part of the defence that went 1,215 minutes without conceding a goal – a record for Celtic. These incidents prove that Van Dijk was a legend in the making.
He was deemed slow and small in his early days. This was followed by him being hospitalized due to a dangerous abdominal abscess he had. The scars still feature till date prominently on his lower stomach. And now, he is arguably the best defender in the world. At the age of 28, he is regarded as one of the best Liverpool players (debatable….of course) by many football pundits, which is an achievement in itself after just 2 years at the Merseyside club.
Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown labelled the Liverpool star “invincible” and considered him to be the best central defender the Premier League has ever seen. He has a win percentage and clean sheet percentage of 59.7 percent and 37.4 percent respectively and isn’t far behind Chelsea legend John Terry. He is the final piece of the jigsaw at Anfield and has seen his influence compared to that of the legendary Eric Cantona at Man Utd.
Van Dijk has played every minute of the Reds’ title charge this season and the Liverpool colossus will be aiming to join an exclusive club of players to have played every minute of a Premier League title-winning season. Gary Pallister, John Terry, Wes Morgan and Cesar Azpilicueta are the only four outfield players to have achieved this feat and the Dutch superstar is set to join this elite list of players. He has played all the 2610 minutes for the Reds and has conceded just 21 goals. He was successful in winning the title of FIFA’s best male soccer player in 2019 and was close to winning his first Ballon d’Or.
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His dad split with his mother, Hellen, and his three children, including Virgil, found it hard to forgive him for that. And so he decided against wearing his father’s surname on his shirt. Virgil has done very well to be such a success considering the ups and downs that existed in his family. His father was not around for so many important years in his career and it is his mother who is the real hero for all his success and fame today.
Liverpool is set to make Virgil as the highest paid defender in the world as the club makes record profits from TV, commercials, and stadium income after winning the Champions League. The Dutchman will join Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah who have all penned improved deals. It has been claimed his weekly salary will be bumped up from £125,000 a week to £200,000 a week. And a deal of this nature with bonuses added on is likely to be worth more than £50m; it’s only fair that he steers ahead of his rivals on his way to the bank too, and he truly deserves this pay surge.
Van Dijk has made nearly 150 Premier League appearances for Liverpool since joining for a club record £75m in 2018. He is by far the most composed player in his position in any league right now and is set to achieve many incredible laurels in his career. He now wants to become a Liverpool legend and believes there is nothing to stop him from achieving incredible things with the European champions. He has no desire of leaving the Reds and wants to go down as one of Liverpool’s greatest servants.