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“We could do better”- Liverpool star still wants his nation to improve despite World Cup quarter-final qualification

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Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk fires warning after Netherlands beat USA in World Cup

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk led his Netherlands NT to victory against the USA in the Round of 16 in the World Cup. In what would have otherwise been an easy win, the Americans hit back in the 76th minute to half the deficit, but Denzel Dumfries’ almost immediate strike meant that the match had to end 3-1 in Louis van Gaal’s side’s favour.

The 31-year-old central defender was excellent against the USA alongside Nathan Ake and Jurrien Timber in central defence to help him out. Stats from FotMob tell that Virgil had a 100% tackle success rate and made three blocks as well.

Speaking in his post-match presentation as captain, Virgil talked about the fact that the Dutchmen could have played better than they actually did even though it seemed like they cruised through to the next round of the competition.

Liverpool dace Virgil van Dijk opens up as the Netherlands qualify for the FIFA World Cup knockouts.
Liverpool ace Virgil van Dijk opens up as the Netherlands qualifies for the FIFA World Cup knockouts. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Here is what he told the media via Metro:

‘‘I think we could do better than we showed,’ ‘Listen, we want to improve. It’s one step better and we’re scoring two fantastic goals. What more could you want?’’

From Van Dijk’s words, it does not seem like he is content with the Dutchmen playing exceptionally well, and wants more from his team. This would also come as a warning to Argentina, who beat Australia 2-1 to qualify for the quarter-finals later today, that Holland will learn from their errors and come forth as a better, more complete team.

Big Virg for the Netherlands

Virgil is doing a captain’s job in his team by further motivating his teammates to perform better and expects more from his side given their skill and talent. Even at the club level, any fan would rightly expect him to do this role, but this season, the Dutchman has been a tad bit off the charts.

Besides, the Netherlands facing a lot of criticism for their style of play could have possibly triggered the club captain’s bold statement in the public. But knowing his class, he can well and truly back his words.

Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk.
Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk.

Regardless, from a club perspective, even though it may sound selfish, there is just one positive if Van Dijk doesn’t progress further – he won’t risk injury and would return to Merseyside fit and ready to lead us to trophies.

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The Reds will next be in competitive action on Boxing Day, when the Reds take on Aston Villa in the Premier League, on the English top-tier resuming after the World Cup hold.