EVEN WHEN 'CHILLING', MESSI IS A DANGER - VAN DIJK
By Rashmi Goel
Lionel Messi has been praised highly by Virgil van Dijk, who has witnessed firsthand the extraordinary ability of the Barcelona forward. Virgil Van Dijk acknowledges the fact that Messi is a fantastic player, that much is obvious, as well as the very best player in the world because of the extra level he has demonstrated over the years. Even when Lionel Messi is in his "chilling" state, the Netherlands must have a "good strategy" to combat Argentina's star, according to Virgil van Dijk. The Dutch will renew their rivalry with the Albiceleste on Friday when they play in the World Cup quarterfinals in Qatar. It was Argentina that defeated the Netherlands in 1978 final, while Louis van Gaal will have the opportunity to avenge his side's semi-final defeat to Messi and company on penalties eight years ago.
When Liverpool defeated Barcelona in the 2018-19 Champions League semi-finals, Van Dijk met Messi, who has already scored three goals in Qatar, including one in the last-16 win over Australia. Consequently, he is aware that Paris Saint-Germain's seven-time Ballon d'Or winner is a player you cannot ignore. In the course of an attack, he is usually found chilling out somewhere in a corner, according to Van Dijk. "Playing against him is an honor. You have to be so very sharp in terms of defensive organization. They always looked for him to make things difficult for us on the counterattack. The Netherlands is not against him, nor am I against him, but the Netherlands is against Argentina. The task cannot be accomplished by one individual, we must come up with a comprehensive plan."