Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Van Dijk hits back at Marco van Basten as Dutch legend slams Liverpool star

Virgil van Dijk has hit back at Dutch legend Marco van Basten after yet more criticism of his defending during last night’s 1-1 World Cup draw against Ecuador.

The 31-year-old came into the tournament amid criticism of his form for Liverpool this season where he has been some way short of his imperious best.

Van Basten has been a regular critic of Van Dijk’s passive style of defending in the pass and again questioned Liverpool’s defensive linchpin following Enner Valencia’s equaliser which earned the South Americans a deserved point.

‘Van Dijk is just waiting and watching him shoot,’ Van Basten told NOS. What is he looking at? He needs to be on top of him! He just lets him shoot!’

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The former Southampton and Celtic centre-half was not in the mood to take any more negativity, however, after Van Basten also called him out during the Nations League earlier this year.

‘I don’t think he is ever positive, so what am I supposed to do with it? It’s easy to talk from the studio.,’ said Van Dijk after the game.

‘Me failing as a captain? What do you want me to do with that info? I am always up front. I lead the team the best way possible.’

Manager Louis van Gaal, meanwhile, was far from happy with his side’s performance and knows they will have to improve if they are to go deep into the tournament.

‘We didn’t play a good match,’ said Van Gaal. ‘We didn’t play well in terms of ball possession and that’s our problem.

Holland and Ecuador are both potential second round opponents for England, with the latter likely to be denied the services of talisman Valencia who went off on a stretcher in the second half.

Manager Gustavo Alfaro said: ‘He is going through such a good spell and I am so happy for him. I think his injury will be okay.’


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