From many top strikers he has ever faced, Liverpool defender and Dutch national team Virgil Van Dijk regards Barcelona frontline Lionel Messi as his toughest opponent.
Van Dijk indeed had time to deal with the Argentine mega star, precisely when Liverpool faced Barcelona in the two leg of the European Champions League semifinal last season.
In the first leg match, Liverpool defeated by a landslide score 0-3, where Messi managed to score two goals against Alisson Becker.
However, at the second leg meeting at Anfield, Liverpool managed to win with a landslide score of 4-0, which means they are entitled to advance to the final round with a 4-3 aggregate advantage.
Apart from the failure of Barcelona, but Messi’s performance along the first leg was very riveting. It could even be said all eyes were on the 33-year-old who packed two goals against the Premier League club.
In fact, two of the three goals created by Barcelona bought Messi alone in the span of seven minutes. No doubt if Van Dijk, known as one of the best defenders in the world considers the player nicknamed La Pulga as the toughest opponent.
“There are some difficult strikers out there but maybe [the answer] is Leo Messi,” Van Dijk said in a question and answer session on social media Twitter.
Liverpool finally made it to the final round, and at the top of the party they faced Tottenham Hotspur at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid.
Faced with compatriot rivals, Jurgen Klopp’s troops managed to win through a landslide score 2-0. Thus, they also became European Champions League champions for the 6th time.
This moment was considered by Van Dijk as one of the three best moments of his career as a soccer player.
“When I debuted as a professional soccer player, when I debuted with the national team, and of course Madrid (European Champions League Final),” he concluded.
This season, Van Dijk has again become Liverpool’s mainstay in the back line, he also helped the club get closer to the first Premier League title. However, the competition is being stopped because of the Coronavirus Pandemic.