It’s a little bit different, playing for a trophy when most teams are still working to get to peak fitness, but Virgil van Dijk isn’t worried about any slowness or sluggishness in Liverpool’s game ahead of tonight’s kickoff.
“We are ready,” Van Dijk insisted ahead of Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup against domestic rivals Chelsea. “We’re looking forward to it, we want to win that trophy and we’re going to do everything that’s possible.”
On paper, at least, as Champions League winners taking on the Europa winners, Liverpool should be favourites. But favourite won’t count for much if the Reds don’t go out and put in the hard work tonight.
Similarly, Van Dijk says while he’s honoured to be talked about as a Ballon d’Or favourite, that talk won’t count for much if he doesn’t keep playing his best—and helping his team to win honours like tonight’s Super Cup.
“I’m very honoured to be talked about for those kinds of things,” he added. “But the only thing I can do is just keep working, keep playing, fulfil my potential. I want to get better every day, and that’s what I try to do.
“If people want to recognise me with awards, obviously I’ll take it, but it’s not the main thing. The most important thing is to focus on your club and that’s what I’m doing.”