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Virgil Van ‘Dyke’ – The wall preventing flooding in Anfield for 2 years

Timothy Aiyeku

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Van Dijk

No one will ever forget his Maradona- esque goal for Celtic, dancing through six players before beating the goalkeeper.

He was part of a strong defensive line-up along with Efe Ambrose at the heart of the Hoops defence and they did not concede a goal for 1,215 minutes – a record for Celtic. These incidents prove that Van Dijk was a legend in the making.

 He was rejected in his early days for being slow and weak. He was even hospitalized due to a dangerous abdominal abscess. The scars still feature even today, 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 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 for the Reds this season and the Liverpool ace will be aiming to join an exclusive club of players to have played every minute of a Premier League title-winning season.

Gary Pallister (1992-93 season, Manchester United), John Terry (2014-15 season, Chelsea), Wes Morgan (2015-16 season, Leicester City), and Cesar Azpilicueta (2016-17 season, Chelsea) are the only four players to have achieved this feat and the Dutch superstar is set to join this elite list of players. He has appeared in all the 29 matches for the Reds, playing for 2610 minutes 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. 

His dad split with his mother, Hellen, and Virgil found it hard to forgive him for that. And so he decided against wearing his father’s surname on his shirt.

His father was not around for so many important years in his career and it is his mother who is the real hero of all his success and fame today.

Liverpool is set to make Virgil as the highest paid defender in the world as club makes record profits from TV commercials and stadium income after winning the Champions League. The likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have all been given significant pay rises in recent years, and Van Dijk truly deserves a pay surge. 

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. 

Van Dijk has made 148 Premier League appearances for Liverpool since joining them 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.

Timothy Aiyeku is a Mass Communication graduate from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He is a sports, everything football analyst.