Virgil van Dijk spoke solely to talkSPORT’s Laura Woods forward of Liverpool’s Champions League ultimate towards Tottenham in Madrid.
Waiting for the showdown with Spurs, he mentioned the heartbreak of final yr’s ultimate and defined why it doesn’t matter whether or not Harry Kane performs.
Listed here are a few of the highlights…
His relationship with Jurgen Klopp
“I’ve a superb relationship with him as a result of he simply tells you the reality and I’ll inform him the reality. That’s one thing I actually admire.
“Typically when there’s a mistake I did, that nobody else sees, he’ll inform me.
“For instance, away at Bayern Munich, they scored the equaliser from a ball behind Andy Robertson.
“Usually, I’m there to guard him, however I didn’t. It seemed like Andy Robertson was in hassle, so that they scored and no person mentioned it was me.
“However at half-time, the supervisor got here in and shouted at me.
“I feel he’s positively up there with the most effective coaches I’ve had, [Ronald] Koeman was additionally an important consider my profession and nonetheless is.”
The miracle towards Barcelona at Anfield
“It was a wierd one [the first-leg]. We felt like, ‘How may this occur?’ We performed fairly effectively they usually received 3-0.
“I bear in mind after the sport towards Newcaste [the following Saturday], we had been on the coach wanting on the beginning XI from Barca on the weekend, and nobody performed. So we knew they might be recent and prepared.
“Once we arrived on the stadium, it felt prefer it might be a very particular evening, and it wasn’t too dangerous!
“If a staff is 3-Zero down towards Barcelona they usually have to show it round, I’m going to suppose they received’t do it.
“Messi will rating at the least one and Suarez will faucet one in. Then they’ve to attain 5.
“It was one thing to always remember. Every thing clicked and every part labored out from begin to end.
“Barcelona, they mentioned it in interviews, after the primary purpose they noticed the flashbacks from Rome.”
His impact on Joel Matip
“I prefer to be straight with gamers. I like when individuals give me confidence, so I like to provide confidence to different gamers as effectively.
“I do know with him, he may be quiet off the pitch, however on the pitch he’s a improbable participant. He’s had a improbable season. He’s been excellent.
“I’d slightly say an excessive amount of than nothing in any respect. It retains everybody on their toes. It makes you alert and awake.”
What adjustments if Harry Kane begins the Champions League ultimate?
“We might be making ready on the system they’re going to play – as a result of that’s an important factor they’re going to adapt on.
“The one factor I’ll do, after I know the staff, is think about their strengths.
“They’ve loads of gamers who could make a distinction. If it’s Heung-min Son, Lucas Moura, or Fernando Llorente in a special sort of means, we should be prepared anyway.”
Does final yr’s defeat to Actual Madrid make Liverpool stronger?
“We’ve made massive steps as a staff, we’ve bonded collectively.
“All through the entire season, we’ve been enjoying very persistently. We’ve been utilizing the entire squad.
“I feel we’re higher than final yr as a result of we’ve all made steps and grown as gamers. Hopefully the expertise will assist us.
“But it surely’s one sport, 90 minutes, and something can occur.”
Can he get even higher?
“I feel I’ve improved on each side of my sport. I’ve had a number of expertise over the past yr.
“I feel as a central defender you develop as a participant.
“There’s nonetheless extra to return. There’s all the time issues to enhance, you possibly can’t be glad with what you may have.
“It’s a must to maintain working. I’ll positively have a look at it after I’m having my vacation.”
His character off the pitch
“I’m only a bit relaxed. I like to sit back and simply be myself. I’ll all the time inform the reality and let you know how it’s.”
How does he reply to criticism?
“I do know precisely after I make a mistake and must do one thing higher.
“You could have pundits and followers from different groups who will say a great deal of issues and it goes previous me. That’s life.
“Soccer is a sport. It’s one thing I like to do. However there are such a lot of issues in life which can be extra vital.
“If I maintain that in thoughts, I’m effective. I’ve discovered that through the years.
“I’m turning 28 in the summertime. If it doesn’t work this yr, I am going once more subsequent yr.”
talkSPORT will convey you reside commentary of the Champions League ultimate between Tottenham and Liverpool on Saturday