Football News

Only one player dribbled past Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk in the entire 2018/19 season

By Harry Edwards

Published: 17:13, 10 June 2019

Virgil van Dijk has had a simply monumental season for club and country.

The centre-back was a key player for Liverpool as they won the Champions League, helping his club keep a clean sheet against Tottenham Hotspur in the final while also finishing second in the Premier League.

The 27-year-old carried his stellar club form onto the international stage with the Netherlands, as the Oranje reached the Uefa Nations League final.

As well as his strength in the air, Van Dijk has shown dominance on the floor, very rarely being beaten by dribbling opponents.

In fact, with Van Dijk’s 2018/19 season now over, only one player managed to successfully dribble past the Dutch centre-back across a total of 56 appearances for club and country.

That man was Manchester City winger Leroy Sane, with the winger doing so in the 42nd minute of a 2-2 draw between Germany and Netherlands in the Uefa Nations League group-stage game in November. The result sealed the Oranje’s place in the semi-finals, with Van Dijk scoring a late equaliser.

Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min was close to joining Sane on the list in the Champions League final, as Spurs looked for a way back into the game, but Van Dijk produced a brilliant recovery to thwart the South Korean with a last-ditch tackle.

Van Dijk’s superb performances this season have seen him emerge as a contender for the prestigious Ballon d’Or award, which has not been won by a Dutchman since Marco van Basten achieved the feat in 1992.

The Liverpool defender is regarded as the frontrunner by several bookmakers, but Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have both enjoyed successful campaigns and will be keen to reclaim the crown.