Virgil van Dijk fires back at Marco van Basten in war of words with the Dutch legend after he blasted the defender’s performance in the draw with Ecuador, saying ‘He takes care of NOTHING in the team’
Virgil van Dijk has fired back at Marco van Basten after the Dutch legend criticized the Liverpool star’s defense in his country’s 1-1 draw with Ecuador at the World Cup.
Van Basten, a three-time winner of the Ballon d’Or and who was part of the Dutch squad that won Euro 1988, blamed Van Dijk for Enner Valencia’s equalizer on Friday.
On Dutch television, Van Basten said it was Van Dijk who stood for Valencia, allowing the former West Ham star to score and earn the South American nation a point.
Virgil van Dijk was criticized by Marco van Basten for Ecuador’s goal against the Netherlands
Van Basten told Dutch television that Van Dijk “doesn’t care about anything” for his national team
Van Dijk was asked about Van Basten’s comments in his post-match interview.
He said, ‘I don’t think he’s ever positive, so what do I do with it? It’s easy to talk from the studio.
“I failed as captain? What do you want me to do with that info? I’m always in the front. I lead the team as best I can.’
His comments were in response to Van Basten against the NOS, according to the Emphatically, in his analysis after the match: ‘Van Dijk just waits and sees how he shoots. What is he looking at? He must be on top of him. He just lets him shoot.
“He’s not taking the lead. He takes care of nothing in the team. He makes a sound, but he says nothing. This is what he does.’
As Van Dijk suggests, this isn’t the first time Van Basten has questioned the Liverpool centre-back.
Van Dijk has fired back at the Dutch legend, saying he is never ‘positive’
The AC Milan legend did so after the September internationals, when Van Gaal’s side secured victories against Poland and Belgium in the Nations League.
‘Van Dijk is actually the best man, but does the least in terms of initiative,’ says Van Basten Ziggo Sport. ‘It is actually very strange that such a very good player in the build-up does so little for the Dutch national team.’
Despite criticism from Van Basten, Van Dijk received praise from De Jong prior to the match in Ecuador.
Liverpool star Van Dijk is taking part in his first international tournament for his country
He told ITV: ‘2016, European Championship too, we missed 2018, so there’s a big gap in that generation since we played in 2014.
‘It’s crazy that he [Van Dijk] is 31 and it’s his first tournament but he’s still a rock, he’s a rock for his national team, he enjoys every moment, I’m in touch with him almost daily, he’s a great guy, a humble guy.
He knows what it takes to be successful, not only with his home team but also in the team. He’s the first to go into battle and he’s bringing his team.’