Football

Van Dijk was captain against Fulham.

Virgil van Dijk took his first attacking free-kick for Liverpool vs Fulham

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Virgil van Dijk has been brilliant for Liverpool since his £75 million move in January.

The Dutchman has almost single-handedly transformed Liverpool’s defensive fortunes and is proving well worth the hefty price-tag.

His leadership and dominance at centre-back has given confidence to the entire Liverpool squad.

And the former Southampton man captained the side once again as they faced bottom club Fulham at Anfield on Sunday.

But Van Dijk is more than just a defender.

He’s excellent with the ball at his feet and, for former clubs Celtic and Southampton, was even their free-kick taker.

At Liverpool, he faces stiff competition to stand over the ball for set-pieces.

The likes of Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Xherdan Shaqiri are all pretty handy when it comes to scoring directly from a free-kick.

But when you’re captain, you get to pull rank.

And that’s what Van Dijk did against Fulham.

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With Liverpool already 2-0 ahead thanks to Salah and Shaqiri, Van Dijk decided he would take a 25-yard free-kick.

As he stepped up, the Anfield crowd got excited.

The result?

Well, it wasn’t too good.

Oh dear.

As Steve McManaman says in the co-commentary, Van Dijk will be back down the pecking order after that attempt.

Earlier this week, Jurgen Klopp was asked whether Van Dijk was the best defender in the league.

Liverpool FC v Cardiff City - Premier League

But the German boss didn't want to be drawn into comparing him with other centre-backs.

“I am not a guy who likes these comparisons and stuff like that. I am really, really happy with him [and] Virg knows that,” Klopp said.

“With his skills and quality and stuff like that there is always a big responsibility as well, that you have to be spot on [and] on that level every day."

Topics:
Football
Xherdan Shaqiri
Virgil van Dijk
Trent Alexander-Arnold
Celtic FC
Mohamed Salah
Jurgen Klopp
Southampton
Liverpool

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