Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk revealed he correctly predicted Harry Kane wouldn’t be 100% for Tottenham in last Saturday’s Champions League final.
Van Dijk comfortably had the measure of Kane in Madrid as Liverpool secured a sixth European crown, despite their rather below-par display.
Spurs, though, were wasteful in front of goal even while enjoying 65% of the possession. They also had 16 shots were on target compared to Liverpool’s three.
But Van Dijk and Reds goalkeeper Alisson Becker were at the top of their game to keep Spurs at bay.
One of the major talking points after the final, however, was on Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino’s controversial decision to start Kane over semi-final hat-trick hero Lucas Moura.
The English striker hadn’t played a competitive match since April 9 following an ankle injury. And Pochettino’s bold move completely backfired, with Kane unable to pick up any of the slack up front.
Now, the 25-year-old will likely face Van Dijk once more for England’s UEFA Nations League semi-final clash with the Netherlands on Thursday.
“Kane is a fantastic striker, one of the best in England, and definitely the best striker England have got for the national team,” said Van Dijk, according to Daily Mail.
“But I know also that, if you’re not 100 per cent fit, it’ll be in your head if you get a bit of a knock or you might get a bit of pain when you pass it.
“I expected him to play the final, but not at 100. I don’t know if he’ll play tomorrow, but we’ll see.”
The Holland captain recalled his own experience from Liverpool’s heartbreaking 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in last season’s Champions League final while discussing how the Spurs players will bounce back.
Kane, Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Eric Dier could all take on Van Dijk on Thursday in Portugal for England.
“Well, I remember last year when I came back feeling bad, very disappointed for quite a while,” said Van Dijk.
“It’s difficult to come back from it. If they play, they’ll want to show themselves and try and win the game. We’ll see if they will play.”