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Virgil van Dijk sends a message to former Liverpool ace following World Cup heartache

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Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk sends message to Sadio Mane after his World Cup disappointment

Liverpool superstar Virgil van Dijk has sent a message to former Red, Sadio Mane after it was revealed that the latter will miss the World Cup with an injury.

His former team-mate and Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk expressed his dismay at the fact that Mane could not take part in the global event. It is obviously something no player would want to miss, especially Mane given his performances in the qualifying stages for Senegal.

Even though the winger was named in Senegal’s squad, his long-drawn-out recovery meant he stood ruled out of the World Cup. He subsequently, will miss out on action for a prolonged period of time even after the conclusion of the tournament.

His former Liverpool team-mate Van Dijk expressed his disappointment at the fact that Mane would not be able to take part in the World Cup for his nation and here is what he told as per Reuters (h/t Liverpool Echo):

 “I am very sorry that Sadio misses the match against us because this World Cup simply deserves the best players, Sadio is one of them. Sadio is world class, he is my friend and I will miss him.”

An out-of-place, winter World Cup in Qatar meant that the players had to take care of their fitness much more than at any other time. FIFA scheduling this tournament in the middle of the season is something new and several players have fallen prey to the hardships of it being held in the midst of the regular season.

In 92 appearances for Senegal across all competitions, the former Liverpool winger has 33 goals and 20 assists. He would have hoped to add to these numbers but unfortunately, he won’t be able to feature for Aliou Cissé’s squad.

Virgil and Sadio

Van Dijk talking about him is a testament to the close bond the players at Liverpool share. The duo shared the dressing room for the first time in 2015 when they played together at Southampton. Mane moved to the Reds in 2016, and the Dutchman followed suit soon, in 2018.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk sends message to Sadio Mane after his World Cup disappointment .
Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane.

Van Dijk, in particular, knows the pain of missing an international tournament. The Dutchman’s injury in the 2020/21 campaign ruled him out of the Netherlands squad that made the Euro 2020 finals. In fact, Van Dijk will be taking part in his first major international tournament this time around in Qatar.

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A number of international stars are missing from this edition of the World Cup due to injuries and that is just something FIFA should make a note of. There have been a lot of questions over Human Rights and the allotment of the event to a non-footballing nation, and that too in the middle of the season.

However, the football begins in almost no time, and hence, the focus shifts there instead of the issues surrounding the event. Having said that, it is extremely sad that a superstar like Mane among others is missing the showpiece event.