Lionel Messi reveals why Virgil van Dijk is so hard to play against

Barcelona v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: First Leg

It is probably fair to say that, since his move to Liverpool, Virgil van Dijk has been pretty good.

The Dutchman swapped the south coast for Merseyside in an eye-watering £75 million deal in January 2018.

While that looked an exorbitant amount to splash out on a defender at the time, Van Dijk has made it look like absolute monopoly money since.

In fact, Van Dijk has been so good that he has even made himself one of the favourites for the Ballon d'Or - last won by a defender way back in 2006.

He played a massive role in Liverpool securing their sixth European cup in May, and will be desperate to keep out enough goals to help their Reds claim their first domestic title in three decades.

So just what makes the giant defender (6 foot 3 inches) just so hard to play against?

Well, one man, who knows a fair deal about being the best in the world, has had a go at trying to explain it.

Barcelona v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: First Leg

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi came face to face with Van Dijk in the final four of last season's Champions League and has first-hand experience when it comes to the Dutch skipper.

"He is a defender who knows how to judge his timing and wait for the right moment to challenge or jockey [the attacker]," Messi said in an interview with Marca.

"He is very fast and big, but he has a lot of agility for his height.

Liverpool v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Second Leg

"He is fast because of its great stride, and he is impressive both in defence and attack because he scores lots of goals."

Sounds like the full package.

While Messi may have gotten the better of Van Dijk in the first leg of their semi-final clash, the Liverpool man certainly kept the Argentinean magician quiet in the second leg.

An incredible clean sheet saw Liverpool progress to the Champions League final in Madrid and the rest is history.

Can Van Dijk pip Messi to the Ballon d'Or title this year? Only time will tell.

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