Yesterday (22 September) Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk provided a solid performance to inspire the Netherlands to a 2-0 victory against Poland in the UEFA Nations League. After the game, the centre-back admitted he had failed to live up to expectations at club level this season.
Needless to say, Virgil van Dijk and his Liverpool colleagues have been far from their best since the start of the campaign this summer. They are currently eighth in the Premier League table, having won just two of their six games in the English top flight so far.
Although he hasn’t been at the top of his game in recent weeks, the centre-back has made the Dutch squad for international matches this week. He made the occasion count by helping his team to a clean sheet against Poland.
Speaking after the match, the defender was critical in providing an honest assessment of his recent performances for Liverpool. He also spoke about the pressure he faces being a leader at club and national team level.
Van Dijk said (via Voetbal International):
“I know I could do better at the start, I’m not naive about it, I know very well when I’m making mistakes. I also know that I am one of the important players at the club, and of course, here at Orange too, I feel that responsibility.”
“Mentally, it’s mostly a challenge. You get a lot on your roof. Many people also forget that it is not easy to act like this. We all try to show the best. In my case, if you’re one of the pillars of the club, you get the reviews you deserve. You have to deal with it and it’s not always easy, [but] I did a great job on that.
What’s next for Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool?
The centre-back will continue with the Dutch national team for the remaining matches of the international break. He is expected to lead the Netherlands defense when they face Belgium in their final Nations League group stage game on Sunday, September 25.
Liverpool will return to the Premier League next weekend with a clash with Brighton & Hove Albion on October 1.