The six foot four defender from the Netherlands, van Dijk has received plenty of plaudits during his short time in the English Premier League. As the only defender to win the prestigious UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award, we take a look at some of the contemporary greatest quotes on Virgil van Dijk.
Playing for Celtic and Southampton earlier in his career, he joined Liverpool in early 2018 as the world’s most expensive defender.
Positioned at centre-back, van Dijk has shown his immense ability in attacking, set pieces, heading, and even goal scoring, along with his defensive duties. Having twice helped Celtic to consecutive Scottish Premiership triumphs, van Dijk has helped the Merseysiders to four major trophies in his five seasons so far with the team.
One of his proudest moments was when he scored on his debut for Liverpool against Merseyside rivals Everton in an FA Cup tie, with a header. Having played in every league game during his second season, he competed in every single minute in the 2019/20 campaign.
Injury forced him to miss most of the following season. Only four years on from his senior debut, van Dijk represented the Dutch national team Netherlands for the first time, before being named the captain under three years later. He led the side to the Nations League final in 2019.
Recent events have seen van Dijk come second in both the race to the Premier League title and the Champions League final.
“Virgil is one of the best in the world right now…..He’s been doing great and his route from Scotland, to Southampton and then to Liverpool has been ideal for him…..I think he’s adjusted to every level and that tells you something about his mentality as well.”
Jaap Stam (former Manchester United defender)
“He’s good, really good, outstandingly good – but he has to be (because) he’s a very talented boy. He just has to use that talent…..”
Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool manager)
“He has everything and its almost impossible to find a weakness in his game.”
Jose Mourinho (Tottenham Hotspur manager)
“…..the way he’s come back and absolutely solidified the defence, you have to say that comes down to professionalism and work-ethic on the training pitch, getting yourself right after an injury like that…..So he deserves all of the plaudits he’s getting right now. Top defender, best defender right now.”
“He was unbelievable, he was everywhere, his positional awareness, in the air…..”
Darren Gough (talksport broadcaster)
“…..I think he is very good…..I do think he’s a good player and I do think he’s improved Liverpool…..”
Adrian Durham (talksport host)
“…..I respect him, he is a good player…..”
Andreas Pereira (Manchester United midfielder)
“He is, at the moment, the best centre-back in the world…..He’s really good in the air, really quick, really good with the ball so I think he deserves this position. He is a top player and watching him improves your game as well.”
Jan Bednarek (Southampton defender)
“…..he’s even being talked about as winning the Ballon d’Or, the fact he’s a centre-back…..For me, he’s the best [defender] I’ve seen, absolutely. He’s right up there, outstanding in every department [and] in one-on-one situations, and that’s so key these days…..not one player dribbled past him. I just think that’s phenomenal.”
Gary Gillespie (former Liverpool player)
“He’s an exceptional player…..When a player costs whatever it costs and it works, it is well worth it.”
Pep Guardiola (Manchester City manager)
“For me, he’s the best centre-back just now in the world.”
Andy Robertson (Liverpool team-mate)
“…..an ultimate centre-back…..It is very difficult to find a weakness…..it would be a pleasure to play alongside him he is so good.”
Sami Hyypia (former Liverpool player)
“…..the best centre-back on the planet right now, easy.”
“Well I’d go further. I think he’s the best centre-half of all time…..He’s bigger than everyone, he’s faster than everyone, he’s stronger than everyone. He’s brilliant on the ball, he scores goals. I’ve never seen anything like it…..as a one off, I look at him and think: how can you get any better than that?”
Michael Owen (former Liverpool player)
“At the moment, when I started to play in this position I watched Chiellini, I watched Ramos, now it is Van Dijk.”
“Virgil has been very good…..As a player you need to have the ability and the quality to get to the top and that’s what he has.”
“Van Dijk. He is so good…..He is powerful, quick, he possesses all the qualities. He is an incredible player.”
Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund player)
“For a man so big and heavy to move so effortlessly alongside was remarkable and it shows why they have such a good defensive record.”
Peter Crouch (former Southampton player)
“The great thing about Virgil van Dijk…..they make other centre-backs look good…..I think Van Dijk has that effect. He’s the daddy.”