If one were to generate a word cloud of the terms most commonly associated with Liverpool’s star center half, Virgil Van Dijk, the words “colossus,” “world class” and “Rolls Royce” are usually well-represented. However, despite the number of similarities the Reds record signing one can draw with the high-end British luxury automotive, a more apt vehicular comparison might be a McLaren: all power, grace and of course, blazing speed.
The stats would also appear to support this point as, in addition to his penchant for physically dominating opponents with his imposing 6’4 frame, the Dutch defender is really fast. And not just fast, but the fastest.
The 27-year-old clocked the highest top speed recorded in the 2018-19 Champions League season at 34.5 km/h, blazing past the likes of known speedsters such as Manchester City’s Leroy Sane and Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale.
The moment came during Liverpool’s stage-setting 3-0 semifinal first leg loss to Barcelona, amazingly in the 92nd minute as the defender raced back into his own half following a Liverpool corner.
Leader of the best defense in Europe, winner of the Champions League, runner up in the Nations League, and the fastest footballer on the continent. If that doesn’t deserve a Ballon d’Or then heavens knows what does.