Virgil van Dijk is the best centre-back in the world right now.
The only reason the Liverpool juggernaut wasn't praised as often during the 2019/20 season was because it marked a slight decline on his world-beating form from the campaign prior.
But it's hardly a criticism to say that somebody has slipped less than 1% from performances that should, by all accounts, have won him a Ballon d'Or instead of Lionel Messi in 2019.
Van Dijk: One of the world's best
What I'm trying to say here is that we take Van Dijk's incredible talents for granted, but it's hard to imagine the man himself is all that bothered when his trophy cabinet is rammed to the top.
Van Dijk enters the impending 2020/21 season as a Premier League champion, FIFA Club World Cup winner and hardly 12 months on from having lifted the Champions League trophy.
So, yeh, the former Southampton and Celtic centre-back doesn't have it too bad at the moment and he's essentially already two games into a season that could prove pivotal on Merseyside.
Netherlands 1-0 Poland
The first match didn't end the way that Liverpool would have wanted, losing the Community Shield for a second consecutive year, but Van Dijk fared better when he linked up with the Netherlands.
The Oranje enter the second round of the UEFA Nations League looking to avenge their final defeat in 2019 and they got off to the perfect start with a 1-0 win against Poland last week.
Said result, which was secured thanks to a winning goal from Tottenham's Steven Bergwijn, might not seem all that spectacular on paper, but it seems as though Van Dijk was being watched very carefully.
Van Dijk's leadership
That's because, ahead of the blockbuster clash with Italy on Monday night, the official Twitter account of the Netherlands national side essentially uploaded a 'Van Dijk cam' to their page.
The video focuses not on Van Dijk's on-ball moments during the Poland win, but his incredible leadership with all his instructions, including subtitles, being rolled into one superb montage.
You can check out the full video down below to see why the Dutch have themselves a perfect caption:
Sadly, I don't speak Dutch, but we live in a world where Google Translate can help us out with, erm, respectable accuracy, so check out our best guess as to what Van Dijk was talking about.
"Pity, pity, pity! Good ball!"
"Play him in, play him in! Quincy [Promes] wide! Look him up!"
"Time Mem[phis Depay], time! On your back now."
"To the left, to the left. Continue."
"Keep busy! Reply! Through! Nice, Gini [Wijnaldum]."
"Keep that line, keep that line!"
"Go inside, Frenk[ie de Jong]."
But either way, he could have been speaking about the weather in Liverpool or what colour curtains he fancies in his home and it would probably still inspire his teammates to push even harder.
You get the feeling that footballers like Van Dijk are a dying breed at the top level, but it's tough to see why when it's clearly such a winning formula.
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