Virgil van Dijk reveals messages from King Kenny and explains Klopp's pulling power

LFC Globe
20th January 2019
Liverpool FC

revealed he sometimes gets messages from Kenny Dalglish before games as he reflected on an incredible first year at Liverpool.

Van Dijk made a £75million move to from last January, making him the most expensive defender in the world.

The Dutchman has had an astounding effect on Liverpool's back-line, having transformed their defence alongside goalkeeper Alisson, who joined in the summer.

The 27-year-old's transition in to life at Anfield has been seamless, as he revealed he received the impromptu support of Liverpool legend Sir Kenny Dalglish.

Van Dijk spoke with awe of the Reds' past players, insisting that if the players give everything to the cause, they will be remembered forever.

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Image: Getty Images

“Kenny Dalglish gave me his mobile number in the very beginning and told me to ring him at any time,” he said.

“It is unbelievable when he sometimes sends me messages before games. That is what Liverpool is about.

“Like most clubs, Liverpool have some private boxes for players ­available. I have my own box for my family here. To get there, you have to walk through the boardroom.

“On match days, that is like walking in a museum. Almost every Liverpool legend is present. I just love to hear all the stories from the guys who used to play for this magical club.

“When you have meant something to this club, they will never forget you. You are Liverpool for ever.”

Whilst some may have crumbled under the price-tag, Van Dijk has been consistently imperious at the heart of Liverpool's defence. His inexhaustible confidence has been a much-needed breath of fresh air in the Reds back-line.

The centre-back revealed what manager Jurgen Klopp told him following his arrival, explaining why the German was a big factor in his decision to join Liverpool.

“I remember talking to the manager about the transfer fee ­Liverpool paid for me and he just said, ‘Listen, all good things cost a lot of money',” he said.

"I thought it was a great thing to come out with – and it shows why Jurgen Klopp was one of the main ­reasons I came to this club.

“I remember meeting the boss for the first time. We had a really good talk and he just gave me the right confidence.

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“There is something about Klopp that makes him stand out. It's not just his energy, I think it's his ­man-management.

“Klopp makes you feel great. He is genuinely pleased to see you in the morning and that has a big effect on the players who come in.

“Just look at the hugs he gives us all at the end of games. It is only a bit of affection, something very small, but it makes you feel great.

“And yet, he can be stone-hard the next day and put you in your place when you have made mistakes. He will do that in front of the entire squad, but we all accept it because we know it is not something personal.

“Klopp has shown in so many ­moments that he cares about us – and that's why he is able to demand so much from us all.”

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Klopp is known for how hard he works his players, and Van Dijk admitted the stories about the boss are "dead right".

However, he believes the boss' methods have helped him become a better player, insisting he can handle playing every single week for both club and country.

He said: “All the stories about Klopp are dead right. I have never worked so hard in training.

“In pre-season it was, what we call in my country, typical German – running, running, running.

"And when you thought you were done, it was more running! I remember coming after our camp in France and I was ­exhausted.

“But now, during the hard weeks of the season, I feel all the benefits. I play in the , in the and I play for my country. But I can ­handle it all.”

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