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Van Dijk suggests Europe has been vital for his development

Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk feels he has improved, developing his experience at the club.

Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk explained at a press conference the importance of European football for his experience.

The imposing centre back feels he has improved as a player at the club, but stressed the need for European football as a means to help him improve various aspects of his game.

“I have improved a lot but that comes with experience, especially in the European games,” he said.

“I learned from my mistakes and I feel I have improved a lot. I work hard every day and want to be a better player every day.”

European football is a beneficial platform for any player because it exposes them to a different pressure than is often found domestically.

European football is also a level, which requires a certain quality and consistency for a team to take part.

The higher quality levels are beneficial for someone like van Dijk because they expose him to a better calibre of striker and that helps him to refine his defensive game and understanding of position.

He’s fortunate to be at a club, which has a relatively good chance of competing in Europe each and every season.

Celtic have shown in the recent past, a win against Barcelona just one example, what they are capable of in a competition like the Champions League, with some of their best qualities also displayed in the Europa League earlier this season.

Van Dijk’s determination to succeed and develop as a player is admirable and hopefully he will stay at the club to form the backbone of manager Ronny Deila’s side next year.

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