Virgil Van Dijk showed no interest in opening last year’s wounds and recall the painful Champion League final loss. Instead, the defender is ready to pave this year’s road to the final with nothing short of optimism.
Virgil Van Dijk is the man in the spotlight and the one who knows how to keep his team steady and in good spirits. Ahead of the anticipated Champions League final, due June 1, Van Dijk opened up to BBC sports and explained how this year’s competition differs from the last.
To Van Dijk, the pain of suffering an almost ridiculous loss last season in the Champions League final is existing. However, instead of crying over spilled milk, Virgil plans to shift his focus on this year’s expectations.
“I took a lot of experience from it; hopefully I can use that,” Dutchman Van Dijk told BBC Sport.
“Losing a final is painful.”
“People can say whatever they want, that we had a better season than them in the league,” he noted.
“That was maybe true, but anything can happen. The final is one game.
Facing Tottenham will be no easy task, as the two teams already have a long and rich duel history.
“They’re a very good team and throughout they have a lot of strength.
“They have a fantastic goalkeeper, two great center-backs and a midfield that’s been very good. They have Victor Wanyama, who I know from Southampton, and Christian Eriksen, who has been doing it for years.”
“Up front, they have players who can make a difference, so we have to be ready,” he continued.
“But I know they’ll definitely think the same about us. We’re not a nice team to face so it’s going to be difficult.
“We’re not thinking about what [happens] if we lose. That’s something for media and pundits to talk about. We have a big opportunity to win and that’ll be the mindset.”
“If I could swap the player of the year trophies for the Champions League, I would do it in no time.
“Football is a team game. Hopefully, we’re going to do it,” Virgil put it in short.