Ronald Koeman worked with Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk during their time at Southampton and he is now watching him thrive on the international stage with the Netherlands.
Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman has raved about Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and stated that he is an ‘example’ to his team and his nation.
Koeman worked with Van Dijk during their time at Southampton – the Dutchman brought the Liverpool favourite to the Premier League when he made the switch from Celtic to St Mary’s in 2015 [BBC Sport].
Van Dijk has gone from strength to strength since those days and is now touted as being the best defender in the world – his performance during Liverpool’s run to their sixth European crown is proof of that.
Speaking to Sky Sports News (09/10/2010 10:05 am), ahead of Holland’s Euro qualifiers, Koeman had nothing but kind words to say about Van Dijk.
“It’s great,” Koeman told Sky Sports. “Winning the title for best European player last season is an incredible achievement for him. And of course, he had the great support for the people at Southampton, he had great support with the staff at Liverpool.
“He has a great personality and that is one of the reasons that he is the captain. He is an example for the team. He is an example for the nation.”
Van Dijk has helped transform the fortunes of both Liverpool and Holland, who failed to qualify for the last major tournament, and will be looking to put things right for next summer.
His presence has not just picked up the performances of both Liverpool and Holland, but it has made players around him much better.
At club level, he has helped Liverpool to eight wins on the bounce this season, and when he returns from international duty, it’s a small matter of taking on arch-rivals Manchester United.