Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk won’t have surprised many by naming Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi as his toughest opponent, but the honour of hardest-to-mark foe goes to Sergio Aguero.
Van Dijk, 28, recently took part in a Twitter Q&A to pass time during football’s hiatus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was a key part of the Liverpool team that overcame a 3-0 first-leg deficit to defeat Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate in the 2019 Champions League semi-finals, going on to beat Tottenham Hotspur in that season’s finale.
The Netherlands star nonetheless considers the six-time Ballon d’Or winner as the best opponent he’s ever come up against:
Van Dijk first moved to the Premier League in 2015 when he joined Southampton from Celtic, meaning he has significantly more experience going up against Manchester City’s record scorer, Aguero. The Dutchman gave a succinct answer and dubbed Messi’s Argentina team-mate the hardest player he’s had to mark, a nomination with which many defenders in England might agree.
Jurgen Klopp’s side led at the Premier League summit by 25 points when the season was initially suspended on March 13, and it remains uncertain as to whether the 2019-20 campaign will be completed due to the threat of COVID-19.
Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum joined in the Q&A to check if Van Dijk’s fitness was holding up during the hiatus, to which his countryman replied he’ll be ready to resume their quest if that time comes:
Aguero’s Citizens are the only team still in with a chance of stopping Liverpool from winning the Premier League this term. City and Barcelona are among the teams still in the running for the Champions League should the tournament resume, while the Reds’ hopes of retaining are over after they were knocked out by Atletico Madrid in the last 16.
Van Dijk also named The Lion King as his favourite animated film, dubbed left-back Andrew Robertson the worst dancer in the Liverpool squad and joked he’d be a No. 10 if he never realised his calling as a defender.