Virgil van Dijk: It’s not Netherlands versus Messi
by SEAD DEDOVIC | VIEW 154
The Netherlands and Argentina will play in the quarterfinals. It will be an interesting match between two strong teams. Many expect that Leo Messi will be the main player of the match. However, The Netherlands has a strong defense, with Van Dijk leading the team.
It was Virgil van Dijk who commented on Leo Messi and the difficult task he will have. “I would say he and Cristiano Ronaldo have been the standout players of the last two decades. There is only respect towards what they have achieved but, for us now, it is not a case of preparing just to face him.
We are preparing to beat Argentina. “Obviously we know how big a part of their success he has been over the years but it’s not Netherlands versus Messi, it’s Netherlands versus Argentina”. - he said, as quoted by independent.co.uk.
Virgil van Dijk and the penalties
There is a lot of commentary on the penalties taken by Japan and Spain. Bad execution of penalties can be a big problem for the team, and the Netherlands seems to practice penalty kicks. Van Dijk emphasized that despite training for penalties, it does not guarantee that you will win.
What the great defender expects is that the match will be settled much earlier, and that there will be no need to take penalties. “We have been practising,” -Virgil van Dijk said. “It doesn’t guarantee in a game, where you play in a full stadium with 80,000 people and there is a semi-final at stake that everything will go the same, but we try to do as much as possible in order to be ready for it.
“Hopefully we won’t come to that stage and we can decide the game before getting to extra time or penalties, but if the time comes we have to be ready for it. We have practised as much as possible”.