It was one of the greatest moments in Liverpool’s storied history. Last June the Reds lifted their 6th European Cup. However, the achievement wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for the Champions League’s greatest ever comeback just a few weeks prior. The Reds went 3 goals down when playing Barcelona at the Nou Camp – the tally could have worse had Ousmane Dembele not squandered a precious chance just before the end of play. The Catalonian side visited Anfield with a seemingly unassailable lead in their pocket. The Reds shocked the world as they beat the Spanish giants 4-0 to progress to their second successive Champions League final. Lionel Messi has revealed why he struggled against Virgil van Dijk.
Messi is widely regarded as the best player to ever step foot on a football field. The Argentinian has been at the pinnacle of the sport for over a decade and boasts 5 Ballon d’Or awards. Despite the great man’s undeniable, otherworldly ability, he was unable to score a crucial away goal for his side when they visited Anfield. Two goals each from Divock Origi and Gini Wijnaldum led Liverpool to a 4-0 win over Messi’s side and the Argentine was sent home heartbroken.
Speaking about Virgil van Dijk, the Barcelona forward told Spanish outlet Marca, “He is a defender that knows how to judge the timing and wait for the right moment to get in or hold on”. Big Virg marked the great man out of the game at Anfield, putting in one of his definitive Liverpool performances. Messi continued, “He is fast because of its great stride and is impressive, both in defense and attack because he scores many goals.”
It is rare that a player as big, strong and quick as Virgil van Dijk comes along in a defence. The Dutchman has been making mincemeat of the Premier League since his arrival at the Reds, he picked up the PFA player of the year award last season and is the hot favourite for the Ballon d’Or this year. It is no surprise that Lionel Messi struggled against Virgil van Dijk, it turns out that an immovable object beats an unstoppable force.