Virgil van Dijk was booked in 2016 by Bobby Madley for a dirty trick he played to try and get Santi Cazorla to miss a penalty and it emphasises what he brings to this Liverpool team.
Cheating is wrong and if a player like Ander Herrera tried to do something similar, I would undoubtedly be screaming bloody murder. As it is, this is football and hypocrisy is alive and well.
In an article written by John Cross for the Mirror almost two years ago, Virgil van Dijk reveals how he attempted to bugger up a penalty spot and put Santi Cazorla in a difficult spot when taking a crucial spot kick.
The Dutchman kicked up the turf around the penalty spot when Saints were penalised late on in a game and later spoke about he isn’t against being dirty if he feels he can help his side win.
Van Dijk said: “It’s a penalty in the last minute so you try to do anything to prevent the goal and that’s what I did but it didn’t work.
“Giroud was saying there was contact from both and it can’t be a penalty, it’s a big decision in the last minute of the game. It’s not in our favour and it hurts.
“It was pretty strange and there were players on our side who were also looking a bit confused. They get the penalty and they score it so we are very disappointed.
“I’m a winner and I want to win obviously and to lose like this is hard. We need to blame ourselves because we had the opportunities and we should have done better.”
Liverpool have been criticised in the past for being too soft and lacking that shithousery that all top sides need to have in order to succeed.
Jurgen Klopp will have signed van Dijk for the fact that he’s bloody good on the ball and in the air but also because he’s also got that burning desire to win in him that he’ll do certain things like kick up a penalty spot in the 90th minute.
With the Reds still in the Champions League and the FA Cup, van Dijk’s proverbial ‘dark arts’ will come in handy.