The note Virgil van Dijk was given by Netherlands coach just before Germany goal


Virgil van Dijk was the hero during a dramatic encounter between the Netherlands and Germany on Monday night.

Oranje were hoping to book themselves a place in the UEFA Nations League finals next summer, having impressively overcome world champions France last week.

However, the Netherlands looked a shadow of the team that overcame Les Bleus during the opening minutes as Germany confidently strode into a 2-0 lead.

Timo Werner scored an unlikely half-volley from range by catching out Jasper Cillessen, before Leroy Sane doubled the advantage within 20 minutes.

As the match continued to unfold afterwards, Germany looked in complete control and were trying to secure a timely scalp after desperately disappointing in 2018.

Germany 2-2 Netherlands

However, it just wasn't to be with Quincy Promse offering hope in the 85th minute and Van Dijk completing the comeback with a brilliant volley.

It was a brutal blow to Die Mannschaft, but also a goal that secured the Netherlands' future in the Nations League alongside England, Switzerland and Portugal.

And it was thanks to an inspired decision to play Van Dijk as a striker during the closing moments with the Liverpool man showing the kind of finishing he's lacked at Anfield.


Van Dijk-related note

Eagle-eyed fans noticed that a note was passed along the Netherlands' backline from assistant manager Dwight Lodeweges, just minutes before Van Dijk moved forward.

Since the game, images have emerged on social media that appear to show the contents of the note, which seems to have been displayed and confirmed on Dutch television.

It shows the new shape that Ronald Koeman wanted from his team and crucially, that Van Dijk should move himself up front. Take a look at the pictures below:

Now that is inspired coaching.

There's nothing revolutionary about playing centre-backs in attack late in games, but the timing of the note was simply perfect and ultimately secured a draw for the Netherlands.

Had the coaching staff not gone through the process of getting the note to their players, Van Dijk wouldn't have been lurking in the penalty area for that crucial volley.

It's also interesting that in an age of technology in the modern game that a simple pen and paper played such a crucial role in one of international football's biggest fixtures.


The other teams joining Oranje in Portugal next summer should certainly keep an eye out for Van Dijk is they're chasing a game late on.

And Liverpool fans will certainly want to see more of Van Dijk pushing forward, especially with his debut goal against Everton proving his only strike to date.

Based on Monday's evidence, though, perhaps he just needs a note to push him on.

Do you think Van Dijk is the best defender in the world? Have your say in the comments section below.

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