Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk offered his own analysis on how not even a single opponent dribbled past him last season.
Van Dijk’s standout campaign for Liverpool has seen him emerge as one of the world’s greatest players.
The Dutch centre-back was simply brilliant in Liverpool’s backline and was essential on route to Champions League glory last season, while helping them finish with the Premier League’s best defensive record.
The most remarkable aspect of Van Dijk’s exploits, however, was the fact that not a single player got past him during matches.
And now the 27-year-old reckons his experiences as a youngster could be a possible reason for why he’s the player he is today.
“I have had the benefit of a lot of one-v-ones by playing a lot on the streets,” Van Dijk told Unisport.
“I played in a lot of five-a-side games when I was younger and I loved to attack in those days as well, so you got a bit of a feeling how attackers might think in certain situations.
“Obviously that comes with experience in my professional career too, but I think if you want to progress as a defender or an attacker then just keep playing in the streets with your friends.”
Reds legend Ray Clemence claimed on Friday that Van Dijk’s performances make him a worthy recipient of the 2019 Ballon d’Or. Although the defender plans to keep himself grounded.
“The best advice I’ve got is to stay humble, keep working hard and enjoy every bit of the way because before you know it, it is all going to be over and you do not want to have any regrets,” Van Dijk added.
“That is the most important thing I would tell young players now because that is the most important thing that is staying in my mind.”