After receiving criticism from Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit, Virgil van Dijk acknowledged that his performances have not been up to his usual standard
However, he also defended himself and his fellow footballers, saying that they are not robots and can have off days. The criticism from Van Basten came after the Netherlands’ 4-0 defeat to France in a Euro 2024 qualifying match, where Van Dijk’s leadership as captain was called into question.
van Dijk shoots down negative talk and is optimistic about Oranje future
Dutch great Van Basten accused Van Dijk of “making noise but not saying anything” and “creating chaos that leads to misunderstandings” in the side.
Van Dijk acknowledged that he has not been playing at his best, but he disagrees with the criticism he has received from Van Basten and Gullit.
He stated that football players are not perfect and can make mistakes, but he believes that his leadership qualities are strong. Although he welcomes opinions, he thinks that the criticism he received is not completely fair.
“It is clear that we played badly. I am one of the experienced guys, so it is completely justified,” he said following Monday’s 3-0 win over Gibraltar.
“Everyone is allowed to have their own opinion these days, that’s the case. Did I set the bar unrealistically high? I was never perfect.
“But we’ve had a lot of success with the team. Football players [Van Basten and Gullit] know that better than anyone, have high peaks and deep valleys.
“It’s quite normal that you can’t always play consistently. That you have a phase as a club or player where you are looking for your level. People should not forget that.
“It is normal that people make mistakes; it is part of football and that it is very human.”
Van Dijk has acknowledged that he has not been playing at his best for Liverpool this season but remains optimistic about his ability to return to form in the near future.
“You know better than anyone when you are doing something right or not,” the 56-cap defender said. “These are difficult times at my club, with lots of ups and downs.
“I am very positive about the future and I try to play my best game ever in every game. We are not robots. Let’s not forget that. Maybe people sometimes forget that.”