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Virgil Van Dijk: “You Need to Look After Yourself” to Win

The Liverpool defender talks about embracing the limitations of a footballer.

Liverpool Training Session Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

I know you like Virgil Van Dijk. Everybody but opposition forwards likes Virgil Van Dijk. Liverpool’s world class centre back is an amazing player to watch and we’re incredibly fortunate that he’s a Red. Many supporters would have Van Dijk as captain instead of Jordan Henderson. But as has been noted before by Jürgen Klopp the team is full of leaders.

Van Dijk has undoubtedly turned Liverpool’s defensive line into a near unbreakable wall. He was the crucial piece of the puzzle. But beyond his playing abilities, Van Dijk has been a positive role model at the club for both his teammates and Liverpool’s up and comers.

Hard work on the training pitch is necessary to win. But eating good food, maintaining a love of the game, and a connection with your supporters are just as important to success.

“I want to be involved in every game,” he said. “They’re the most fun part of being a football player anyway, to go out there and show your talents to the world, try to win a game with a team you train with day in, day out.

“It’s not easy, you need to look after yourself and with the life we live, it’s very important to leave a lot of things. For example, we play four games in the next 11 days, you’re travelling and staying in hotels and you need to watch what you eat, drink and make sure you recover well.

“I’m not complaining, not at all, but you need to look after yourself because at the end of the day, the people are coming to the stadium to watch you play and it doesn’t matter if you had a cold the day before, they want you to turn up on matchday.

“That’s why it’s very important to look after yourself and a big part of that is staying fit. Luckily, so far, I’ve been doing that pretty well and hopefully I can keep doing it.”

It’s clear that Liverpool’s squad is full of players with this same mentality. That’s part of what makes the togetherness of the team. Every player trusts that their teammates are doing everything all the time to be the best. That’s the Mentality Monster promise.