Last Saturday Liverpool crushed their Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur to clinch their 6th Champions League trophy at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
Van Dijk & the Reds
The victory was part of a season long initiative put in motion by Jürgen Klopp & the Reds. One player who emerged like a knight in shining armour from among them was none other than the Dutchman, Virgil van Dijk.
The centre-back joined Liverpool in the 2018 January transfer window & the difference can already be seen in the team stats. He assisted the Reds to win their 6th UCL title, rappelling ahead in the frenetic run for the Ballon d’Or.
Van Dijk & Holland
On Thursday night, the Dutchman led his country to victory in the semi-finals of the UEFA Nations League defeating the mighty England.
Netherlands, who were absent last year at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, played with sheer might & zeal to topple their opponents with a 3-1 scoreline.
Captaining his squad, Van Dijk played as the perfect CB winning every aerial duel & ground tackle against the English. Playing full 120 minutes, the Dutchman finished with a 96% pass completion rate.
Not just during the match, one could see his influence before it as well as a young mascot standing in front of Van Dijk kept looking at him in wonder & amazement. The Dutchman couldn’t help but pat his hair affectionately.
Ballon d’Or incoming?
In a single season, Van Dijk has won the Champions League & helped soar Liverpool to the 2nd position in the Premier League. He won PFA Premier League Player of the Year, playing for the longest duration than anyone across Europe this season. And now, he has taken Holland to the UEFA Nations League Final.
His success as a CB is what is praiseworthy. Today all of the football world is deliberating his potential Ballon d’Or win breaking the duopoly of Ronaldo & Messi.
Now this is saying something.
Not everyone is able to come in a neck-to-neck battle with this fearsome attacking duo owing to their status as the ‘Greatest Players of All Time’. But Van Dijk has dared to dream. He has dared to put himself in a position befitting the comparison with Messi & Ronaldo.
Van Dijk v Ronaldo
Virgil has the opportunity to prove whether he is as effective for his country as he is for his club. He is about to go up against Cristiano Ronaldo as Holland faces Portugal in the Nations League final.
For now, the achievements for the Dutchman seem to have just gained the inertia, already igniting fire around the world. Here’s hoping that he will burst into blossom in the years to come with his pandora box of talent, spearheading his team & himself towards a greater future.