Liverpool have become Premier League leaders and Champions League winners since Jurgen Klopp brought Virgil van Dijk to Anfield.
Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata has named Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk as one of the toughest centre-halves he has ever come up against in his career, speaking in an Instagram Q&A with Fabio Fognini.
Considering that a Spain international has spent pretty much every waking moment of his career at the top level, leading the line for Real Madrid, Juventus, Chelsea and now Atletico, his glowing praise of a giant Dutchman should not be taken with a pinch of salt.
Van Dijk is arguably the greatest defensive talent on planet earth right now, helping to transform Liverpool from attractive nearly-men into Champions of Europe and soon-to-be Premier League winners for the very first time.
You won’t find a soul who thinks that infamous £75 million investment was not worth every solitary penny these days – and we include Morata in that.
“When you go against Van Dijk, it feels like you hit a mountain,” Morata quipped, before then paying tribute to former Real and Juve team-mates Sergio Ramos and Giorgio Chiellini.
“Chiellini, I don’t know if he does it on purpose, but when he meets me, he always destroys me! Sergio Ramos is also a tough defender.”
Morata did, however, come out on top the last time he went head to head with Van Dijk.
In Liverpool’s final game before the global health crisis stopped the 2019/20 campaign indefinitely, it was the former Chelsea striker who scored a dramatic late winner as Atletico secured a 3-2 win at Anfield to seal their place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Though, even on the losing side, Van Dijk still obviously made a big impression on his rival.