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SportBe better - Gullit calls for Van Dijk improvement

13:50  18 june  2019
13:50  18 june  2019 Source:

Virgil van Dijk wants to sign a new contract with Liverpool

Virgil van Dijk wants to sign a new contract with Liverpool Virgil van Dijk has told Liverpool that he wants to sign a contract extension, according to Melissa Reddy of ESPN FC. Van Dijk was one of Liverpool’s standout performers last season as the Reds capped off a remarkable campaign by winning the Champions League, following on from a Premier League campaign where they earned 97 points, just one fewer than champions Manchester City. According to the report, Van Dijk told Liverpool about his desire to commit his long-term future to the club prior to Saturday’s Champions League final as he is completely happy at Anfield.

Liverpool have van Dijk . Without the ball, the pitch now feels a good deal smaller for Liverpool’s opponents, and feels a Players like van Dijk and Firmino are the raw materials of Total Football. The athleticism and mobility to exert defensive pressure from the front, both individually and coordinated

Virgil van Dijk (Dutch pronunciation: [vɑn ˈdɛik]; born 8 July 1991) is a Dutch professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for English Premier League club Liverpool and captains the Netherlands

Be better - Gullit calls for Van Dijk improvement © Getty Images Netherlands and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk must "be better" for Netherlands if he is to win the Ballon d'Or, according to Ruud Gullit.

Gullit called for the Liverpool defender to help cut out the errors that have dogged Ronald Koeman's team.

After winning the Champions League with Liverpool, Van Dijk helped his country reach the Nations League final, where they were beaten 1-0 by Portugal, and Koeman received widespread plaudits for turning the Oranje's fortunes around following their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

But Gullit, who won the Ballon d'Or in 1987 ahead of the Netherlands' triumph at the 1988 European Championship, called for Van Dijk to inspire improvement in the Dutch defence.

Van Dijk is favourite for 2019 Ballon d'Or

Van Dijk is favourite for 2019 Ballon d'Or Virgil van Dijk has emerged as the current favourite for the 2019 Ballon d’Or, according to bookmakers‘. The Dutch defender has had a colossal year for Liverpool, helping guide the club to Champions League glory while also breaking domestic club records. Despite this though, Van Dijk still believes that Lionel Messi should collect the gong, even if Barcelona fell victim to the Reds on their pursuit of Champions League success. Speaking before the Champions League final in Madrid, Van Dijk said: “I think Lionel Messi is the best player in the world. He should win the Ballon d’Or.” “So I’m not thinking of that. But if I win, I’ll take it. Messi should win it though.

We take a look at Liverpool's new £75million defender Virgil van Dijk , using the numbers to compare him to their current crop of centre backs. ► Sign-up

Chris Sutton claimed Van Dijk is the best Dutch player to play in the Premier LeagueCredit: Reuters. Others believe that Van Dijk isn't even the best Dutch defender and suggest Jaap Stam should take the crown. Other notable names that are arguably better include former Arsenal stars Robin van Persie

Speaking about Van Dijk at the Costa Smeralda Invitational golf event, Gullit said: "I think he did really, really well, especially with Liverpool. I think that he was the missing link for them.

"For the national team I still think he needs to be better than that.

"Not him only, but also [Matthijs] De Ligt because out of the last 14 games, 10 games we've been 1-0 down. If you have such a good defence you don't need to concede these goals all the time."

Van Dijk won the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Players' Player of the Year award for his outstanding performances for Liverpool throughout 2018-19, and he is widely considered to be a contender for the 2019 Ballon d'Or.

Gullit underlined the difficulty defensive players have in winning world football's most coveted individual prize, pointing out that his former AC Milan team-mate and Italy great Franco Baresi did not collect the award during his career.

The last defender to win it was former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro in 2006, and Gullit feels the whole Netherlands team would need to step up to help Van Dijk fulfil his potential.

"It has to do with the whole team of course," said Gullit. "It is something that he has to fix. Not he himself but the whole defence, with the whole team, in order to be that player.

"Of course, defenders have not been picked a lot. Baresi should have been picked but never was. So therefore it would be a huge boost for him if he gets picked."

Liverpool legend Ray Clemence backs van Dijk for Ballon d'Or.
Former Liverpool goalkeeper and club legend Ray Clemence has said that Virgil van Dijk should win the Ballon d’Or this year. The Dutch centre-back earned rave reviews for his performances last season as the Reds finished second in the Premier League and lifted the Champions League trophy. Jurgen Klopp’s side finished the year with the best defensive record in Europe’s top five leagues, conceding just 22 goals in 38 games, and van Dijk’s influence played a huge part in that achievement. Van Dijk also captained Holland to the final of the Nations League, but finished as a runner-up after losing to Portugal.

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