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Virgil van Dijk: “Klopp Makes You Feel Great”

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Nothing but love and respect for my manager.

Liverpool FC v Cardiff City - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Liverpool’s dressing room atmosphere: it’s good!

Few players seem to have such an impact on and off the field at the club as Virgil van Dijk. The Dutchman seemed to slot right into everything Jürgen Klopp wanted of him, and became exactly the player needed. The bond between player and manager, it sounds, could not be stronger.

“I remember talking to the manager about the transfer fee ­Liverpool paid for me”, The Mirror report Van Dijk saying of his arrival at the club, “and he just said, ‘Listen, all good things cost a lot of money’.

“I thought it was a great thing to come out with – and it shows why Jurgen Klopp was one of the main ­reasons I came to this club. I remember meeting the boss for the first time. We had a really good talk and he just gave me the right confidence.

“There is something about Klopp that makes him stand out. It’s not just his energy, I think it’s his ­man- ­management.

“Klopp makes you feel great. He is genuinely pleased to see you in the morning and that has a big effect on the players who come in.

“Just look at the hugs he gives us all at the end of games. It is only a bit of affection, something very small, but it makes you feel great. And yet, he can be stone-hard the next day and put you in your place when you have made mistakes. He will do that in front of the entire squad, but we all accept it because we know it is not something personal.

“Klopp has shown in so many ­moments that he cares about us – and that’s why he is able to demand so much from us all.”

There are a million things a successful manager has to do. Some great ones manage to win without ever earning the love from their own players. But there’s just something reassuring when you see a genuine bond between player and coach. We can only dream of the success it may bring us.