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Not one player managed to successfully dribble past Virgil van Dijk in the 2018/19 season

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Virgil van Dijk finished the 2018/19 campaign very strong for both club and country. 

The centre-back helped his Liverpool side to Champions League glory, with a 2-0 win against Tottenham in Madrid last weekend. 

A few days later, he was featuring for Holland in the inaugural UEFA Nations League.  

In the last four, the Netherlands squeezed past England in extra-time to reach the final against tournament hosts Portugal. 

But this time, Van Dijk came up just short. It was Portugal who went on to lift the trophy, thanks to Goncalo Guedes, who scored the only goal of the game late on. 

Although he didn't finish the season with the Nations League trophy as he would have liked, Van Dijk does end the campaign with one piece of silverware - and a brilliant individual record too. 

In 2018/19, not one single player managed to successfully dribble past the defender - and plenty of world-class forwards tried.

Lionel Messi, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Eden Hazard and Raheem Sterling all tried to get past him earlier on in the campaign - and all of them failed. 

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Sunday night gave Cristiano Ronaldo a shot at Van Dijk - but once again, the Dutchman stood strong and didn't allow Ronaldo, or any of his teammates, to dribble past. 

Standing firm throughout the campaign is impressive enough alone, but his record goes back even further than the beginning of 2018/19. 

Taking into account the two Nations League games that Van Dijk has just played in, it's now 66 matches since anyone has dribbled past him.

You have to look all the way back to March 2018 to find the player in question - former Newcastle midfielder Mikel Merino. 

There's no doubt that this impressive stat contributed to Van Dijk winning the PFA Player of the Year - and after finishing the season strong, it could help him contest the Ballon d'Or too. 

Topics:
Football
Virgil van Dijk
Lionel Messi
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo
Liverpool

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