Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has been having a bit of a topsy-turvy 2022/23 campaign so far.
The centre-back helped guide the Dutch side to the quarter-finals of the World Cup, maintaining a really strong defensive record in the meantime as well.
However, he experienced the ultimate heartbreak by missing a crucial penalty in the penalty shoot-out loss to eventual winners Argentina – getting eliminated from the competition.
Since returning to Liverpool, things haven’t been so smooth either.
The Reds have lost a lot of games since the season resumed and Van Dijk has featured in a lot of them – including the 5-2 thrashing to Real Madrid in the Champions League.
While the Dutch centre-back hasn’t been directly responsible for their inconsistency, he’s been unable to act like the unbreakable commander in chief that helped Liverpool compete for a possible quadruple last season.
It was for his heroics over the 2021/22 season that Van Dijk was named into the FIFA World XI in The Best awards on Monday.
Van Dijk was actually the only centre-back that was included in the FIFPRO XI, being placed in a three-man backline.
The other defenders beside him were Joao Cancelo and Achraf Hakimi, who are both full-backs. The Dutch centre-back was voted into the team thanks to a fan-vote system.
In doing so, he beat out competition from world-class centre-backs like Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger, Cristian Romero and Raphael Varane. Of course, the Dutch centre-back only attended the ceremony because he knew from beforehand about having a place in the FIFPRO XI and that he would be celebrated in the show.
Van Dijk came well prepared for the FIFA The Best ceremony, with the award show regarded as a version of ‘The Oscars’ for footballers. A red carpet is rolled out for them to pose for the photographers and footballers often bring their family members or loved ones to the show as well.
The Liverpool defender brought some of his own family members to the ceremony, despite actually being a very private person. He rarely makes public appearances with his wife or children and likes to live a discreet life when not playing for Liverpool or the Netherlands.
Wearing a slick green suit, Van Dijk posed on the red carpet with his wife Rike Nooitgedagt and two daughters.
His wife usually likes to stay away from public appearances or social media, but accompanied her husband for this special occasion – wearing a lovely black dress like her daughters.
However, some fans noticed that Virgil did not bring his entire family to the ceremony. He actually has two more daughters, who are still toddlers.
This appearance of the entire Van Dijk family together has won over the hearts of many Liverpool fans because the defender rarely posts pictures with his loved ones on social media.
He did bring his entire family at the end of last season when the Liverpool players celebrated with their family members at Anfield after their final home game.
Van Dijk seems blessed to have such a loving and supportive family but will hope to pick up his form and help Liverpool end the season with some silverware from here.