Since arriving at Liverpool, Virgil van Dijk has established himself as the best defender in world football. The Reds’ number four is favourite for the Ballon d’Or this season and was recently named UEFA’s Best Men’s Player. After being claiming the number one sport in Goal’s list of the top 25 male players in the world, Van Dijk has come in for praise from his old Celtic colleagues.
Goal made a short documentary about the Reds’ talismanic defender to mark his number one spot. The video featured messages from Virgil’s ex-teammates and coaches.
Neil Lennon reflected on his first impressions of the Dutchman:”The first day he comes into training you’re thinking ‘this guy might not be here long, he’s just got absolutely everything’,” Lennon went on to conclude, “he’s the best in the world, I think he’s going to go on to be one of the greatest of all time.”
Hoops legend Scott Brown also dished out praise, saying that whilst at Parkhead, Big Virg “looked a threat every time he got on the ball”.
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Virgil van Dijk really announced himself during his two seasons at Celtic. It was clear from an early stage that the Dutchman was a cut above the rest in Scottish Premier League.
Neil Lennon and Scott Brown experienced first hand just how diverse the talents of Van Dijk are. The Ballon d’Or favourite would occasionally find himself up front when playing for the Hoops, such is his versatility. Without his experience of the physicality of the Scottish league and the weight of expectation playing for Celtic, we would not have the Van Dijk that we have today.
Virgil will be fondly remembered at Celtic Park and no doubt in years to come there will be people in Glasgow telling their kids and grandkids that they were there to see the legendary defender in action.