Virgil van Dijk is pretty good at this football lark, isn’t he?
On a brilliant night for Liverpool in the Champions League, their leading defender was once again delivering another masterclass and was arguably the star performer against Bayern Munich.
Van Dijk has been instrumental to the success Liverpool have enjoyed this season and is being widely acknowledged as the best defender in the world on current form.
For anybody doubting that, his individual display at the Allianz Arena was an emphatic rebuttal and the Dutchman deserves great praise for marshalling the backline.
However, it wasn’t just his defending that was impressive, as he scored the ‘winning’ goal on the night with a brilliant header past Manuel Neuer.
VAN DIJK SHINES VS BAYERN
The German goalkeeper has conceded three goals in the last year from Van Dijk and the latest – complimented by strikes from Sadio Mane – dumped Bayern out of Europe.
All this considered, it will come as little surprise that fans and pundits alike have been eulogising about the 27-year-old and his performance in Germany.
It may be a little more unexpected to see that the Madrid-based publication Marca have been singing his praises, though.
MARCA SING VAN DIJK’S PRAISES
There has certainly been a quiet inter-city rivalry after last year’s dramatic Champions League final and Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos would certainly argue that he’s the number one defender.
Marca didn’t go as far as naming Van Dijk the best in the world but in their round up of events in Europe, noted that the £75 million Liverpool paid for him was cheap.
That’s pretty remarkable when you consider it was a world-record and yet Marca decided to make that their headline, before dedicating a paragraph to his display.
They explained that those kind of performances are what put players amongst the greats and noted that Roberto Lewandowski was looking ‘frustrated, outraged and desperate’ during their duel.
All of that makes for pretty high praise, but does Van Dijk deserve anything less?
When you consider the astronomical bids that Liverpool would likely reject for him, that figure of £75 million does seem incredibly ‘cheap.’
There were serious questions raised about his price tag in December 2017 but the doubters have practically disappeared and Van Dijk is actually proving to be a bargain.
That’s no more apparent than when a publication with traditional Real Madrid leanings are singing his praises and maybe one day they’ll rank him above Ramos and Raphael Varane.
For the moment, though, he can soak up the praise and look forward to the quarter-finals.