Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has offered some insight into why Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk is so highly regarded as probably the best defender in the world right now.
The Netherlands international has been a big hit for Liverpool since his big-money transfer from Southampton midway through the 2017/18 season, turning the Reds into a far more resolute side than they were previously and bringing major trophies along with it.
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Van Dijk’s immense displays helped Liverpool past Messi’s Barcelona on their way to winning the Champions League last season, and the Argentine has now spoken about why he’s so hard to play against.
“He is a defender that knows how to measure the times and wait for the right moment to enter or endure,” Messi told Marca.
“He is very fast and big, but he has a lot of agility for his height. He is fast because of his great stride and is impressive, both in defence and attack because it scores many goals.”
Liverpool fans will no doubt love to hear these words from one of the world’s best attacking players, and indeed one of the greatest footballers of all time.
Messi has made so many defenders look like fools down the years but he’s clearly impressed with Van Dijk, who did his bit to keep him quiet in that semi-final second leg that LFC won 4-0 at Anfield.