Christmas is the time for gratitude, family and reflection and one of the many things Liverpool supporters are grateful for is star defender Virgil Van Dijk.
The colossal Dutchman’s presence this season has been felt by his absence. Out with a long-term ACL injury, it has taken a herculean effort from his mentality monster teammates to maintain their domestic and European supremacy nearly halfway through the campaign.
However, a season without Van Dijk hasn’t prevented game from recognizing game.
West German and Bayern Munich legend, Franz Beckenbauer was a dominant defender from the 60s through the 80s, winning five Bundesliga titles, three European Cups and a World Cup. Considered by many as the greatest defender in history, the two-time Ballon d’Or winner lauded the Liverpool no. 4 as the cream of the current crop:
“The role of libero as I held it no longer exists nowadays,” Beckenbauer said, speaking to Sport Witness.
“But with his way and style of playing football, Virgil van Dijk really impresses me.
“I started to notice him at Liverpool and in the Dutch national team. He has this power and ability in him that are quite impressive.
“He shows it on all levels. I don’t see any weaknesses in him.”
“At first glance, because of his stature, you might think he lacks speed and agility, but that’s not the case at all.
“He is very maneuverable and can anticipate situations very well. I love this player.”
Recognition from a legend of the game is only justified for a player who Liverpool supporters know to also be a legend in the making. And that’s one thing every Red can be grateful for.
Merry Christmas to those who are so inclined!