England 1-3 Netherlands highlighted the best of Virgil van Dijk and why he’s as valuable as he is.
The game showcased five high-priced defenders. Matthijs de Ligt, arguably the most in-demand defender in the world, partnered Van Dijk for the Dutch.
And so, with Van Dijk included, there were five of the most valuable defenders in the world. The 120 minutes of football showed why the Liverpool man is the best of them all, however.
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Three of the goals shared between England and the Netherlands were awful defensive errors, Van Dijk the only defender not involved.
First, Matthijs de Ligt miscontrolled a pass in the area and fouled Marcus Rashford. Rashford converted the resulting penalty, putting England ahead.
De Ligt did send the game into extra-time, though, equalising from a corner.
The bonus 30 minutes was a disaster for England, though.
Maguire, Stones, and Walker all looked uncomfortable at the back. They misplaced passes, dallied on the ball, and both winning goals were direct results.
It all comes together to show why Van Dijk is so good, showcasing his greatest asset: composure. He doesn’t get caught dallying on the ball, doesn’t make unnecessary risk passes, and doesn’t take his eye off the ball.
His composure allows him to be reliable and consistent at the back, both defending and passing. It’s become the main reason Liverpool are so reliable as a side.
There’s little doubt that Van Dijk is arguably the best in the world – and these couple of hours showcased exactly why.