Football News

“He’s my bogeyman” – Virgil van Dijk names the toughest opponent of his career

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 14:25, 4 November 2022

Virgil van Dijk has named Olivier Giroud as his toughest opponent.

The pair have faced off 12 times across several different competitions at both club and international levels with Van Dijk representing Southampton, Liverpool and the Netherlands while Giroud turned out for Arsenal, Chelsea and France.

888sport betting offer: How to get £30 in free bets (+£10 casino bonus)

Eligible readers interested 888sport's welcome offer can follow THIS LINK and sign up using the code 30FB.

Min deposit £/€/$10 • Promo code: 30FB • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £/€/$10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days and expires after 14 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager the bonus amount 40 times within 14 days • Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country & full T&Cs apply. 18+ only. Please play responsibly. For more information, visit Be Gamble Aware.

Across those meetings, the Dutch centre-back has tasted four victories to Giroud’s ten. Van Dijk and the French marksman last met in a Premier League showdown between Liverpool and Chelsea in May 2020 when the Reds ran out 5-3 winners.

AC Milan’s current ‘number nine’ got on the scoresheet that day, the sixth time he’s netted past Van Dijk, and chances of them meeting again is a possibility with both still active in the Champions League and Les Bleus and Oranje potentially meeting in the quarter-final or final at the upcoming World Cup finals.

Speaking to Gary Neville on The Overlap he was asked to name his most difficult opponent before giving an unlikely answer but with good reason.

Bet365 welcome offer: Get up to £50 in free bets

Not signed up to bet365 yet? Here's how to claim one of the best bookmaker welcome offers around... 

  • Open an account (here's a link)
  • Make a qualifying deposit of between £5* and £10*
  • Claim the offer to receive five times your deposit in 'Free Bets'.
  • To release your 'Free Bets', place qualifying bets to the value of the your qualifying deposit and allow those bets to settle.
  • Your 'Free Bets' will become available shortly after your qualifying bets have settled
  • To use your 'Free Bets', select 'Use bet credits' in the bet slip.

*18+ only. Please play responsibly. For more information, visit Be Gamble Aware. Time limits and Ts&Cs apply (see above and Bet365's sign-up page). Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake.

“Funnily enough, [Olivier] Giroud,” he said.

“I always felt like I got him, but somehow, he always managed to score. Whether it was for Arsenal, Chelsea or France, he always scored.

“I said to him when we won the league, we won 5-2 we were 3-0 up or something and he scored a scrappy goal, I think it was against the crossbar and fell down, scrappy goal, I said to him: ‘You scored again?!’

“So I would say he is the guy that scores against me, and just that annoying person. There’s so many fantastic strikers I’ve played against, Messi, [Sergio] Aguero, [Erling] Haaland is a difficult one because he has everything, but I’m going for Giroud as he’s my bogeyman – annoying!”