Fabinho has revealed Roberto Firmino has been the only Liverpool player able to dispossess Virgil van Dijk in training.
The 28-year-old Dutch central defender and current PFA Players’ Player of the Year recipient is fast-becoming renowned for his near immunity to be dribbled past.
Across his 56 outings for club and country in the 2018/19 season only Manchester City winger Leroy Sane, during a Germany v Netherlands Uefa Nations League contest, managed to pull this feat off.
And it appears his ruthless approach to defending isn’t restricted to official matches. Van Dijk, a serious trainer, appears to have made it a habit of not being shown up by his own teammates, making getting the better of him a rare achievement.
Fabinho, who joined the Reds from AS Monaco last summer, witnessed this firsthand in their Champions League-winning campaign, but also the one individual who nicked the ball from him.
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“I’m usually on his team, thank God,” he told De Sola.
“The only guy I’ve ever seen winning a ball from him on training was Firmino. Only once.”
A season to remember for Van Dijk. Five key things to know…
- The 2018/19 season was Van Dijk’s first full campaign as a Liverpool player having joined from Southampton in January 2018.
- He’d play an instrumental role in the Reds having the Premier League’s best defence (22 goals conceded).
- His performances earned him the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award, becoming the first defender since John Terry (2004) to claim the prize.
- Across 56 outings for club and country only Manchester City winger Leroy Sane, during a Germany v Netherlands Uefa Nations League contest, dribbled past him.
- Van Dijk ended the campaign lifting the Champions League before leading the Netherlands to second place in the Uefa’s Nations League.