May 29, 2023

Van Dijk hits back at criticism from Van Basten, Gullit

March 28, 2023
Van Dijk Van Basten

Liverpool and Holland defender Virgil van Dijk has acknowledged that he has not been performing at his best level but emphasized that footballers are not machines.

Van Dijk’s response came after receiving harsh criticism from former Dutch internationals Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit, with Van Basten questioning his captaincy credentials following a 4-0 defeat to France.

While Van Dijk respects differing opinions, he feels that the criticism is unwarranted. The experienced defender acknowledges that mistakes are part of football and hopes to return to his peak form soon, especially amid Liverpool’s ups and downs this season.

“It is clear that we played badly. I am one of the experienced guys. So, it is completely justified,” he said following Monday’s 3-0 win over Gibraltar.

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“Everyone is allowed to have their own opinion these days, that’s the case. Did I set the bar unrealistically high? I was never perfect.

“But we’ve had a lot of success with the team. Football players [Van Basten and Gullit] know that better than anyone, [players and teams] have high peaks and deep valleys.

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“It’s quite normal that you can’t always play consistently. That you have a phase as a club or player where you are looking for your level. People should not forget that.

“It is normal that people make mistakes. It is part of football and that is very human.”

Van Dijk has also been far from his best in a Liverpool shirt this season, but he hopes to return to top form soon.

“You know better than anyone when you are doing something right or not,” the 56-cap defender said.

“These are difficult times at my club, with lots of ups and downs.

“I am very positive about the future and I try to play my best game ever in every game. We are not robots. Let’s not forget that. Maybe people sometimes forget that.

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