Virgil Van Dijk’s role with the Netherlands’ national team is that of a leader. He radiates confidence and brings an important calming presence to the heart of the team’s defense. Our sportsbook is offering a great range of betting markets and props for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
World’s Most Expensive Defender
Van Dijk currently plays for Liverpool of the English Premier League and is the captain of the Netherlands national team. He is the only defender to have won the prestigious UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award. He also was a runner-up in both the Ballon d’Or and Best FIFA Men’s Player award in 2019.
He moved to Liverpool in January 2018 for $90 million, a world-record transfer fee for a defender. The Dutchman has played a crucial part in the Reds’ remarkable performances across various competitions. With all his achievements in mind, it’s safe to say that his contributions have exceeded the expectations at the club.
Van Dijk is the only player who would fit any kind of defense with no drop-off in output or quality. Originally an attacking player, Van Dijk was shifted to right-back and then into the center of the defense when he went through a significant growth spurt. From defensive abilities to his attacking instincts, each of these attributes is accompanied by his awareness of the game. He is one of the reasons why we are including Liverpool in many of our soccer picks and parlays.
Van Dijk managed to go a long time without being dribbled past by any player. An important reason for Liverpool to have conceded a low number of goals is the solid defense led by the Dutchman. His height and strength offer him a great advantage over his opponents and the center-back boasts of a remarkable ratio of aerial battles won.
Simplicity marks his game. He makes precise tackles when there is a need. But, more often than not, he is content with defending the space and taking the game deeper. The more time you allow the attacker on the ball, the more time he has to make a mistake. So, rather than diving into challenges, he just tags along with the attacker. Van Dijk uses his pace extremely well to defend in space when operating as the last man
Best Defender in the World?
Van Dijk featured in both the 2018 and 2019 UEFA Champions League final, winning the latter. In his first full season at Liverpool, Van Dijk was crowned both the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and Premier League Player of the Season. After securing the FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 2019, he helped Liverpool end its 30-year title wait, winning the 2019-20 Premier League.
After making his international debut in 2015, Van Dijk was given the Netherlands captaincy in 2018. A year later, he led the team to the UEFA Nations League final, where they finished runners-up. The worst thing for opposition attackers is that Van Dijk is very much in his peak period and he should continue to impress for years to come.
Van Dijk is a very impressive distributor of the ball. He is right-footed and can distribute to all areas of the pitch with accuracy. He is also constantly looking for opportunities to pass vertically and help his team to progress into the opposition half.
A lot to be positive about after a good week working with the boys. We knew it would be 2 difficult games but we performed well. We look forward now! 🇳🇱 pic.twitter.com/K31mD1VYcx
— Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) March 29, 2022
World Cup Expectations
The Netherlands were drawn into Group A with Senegal, Ecuador and Qatar. They are huge favorites to win their group being priced at -250 with the latest soccer odds. They will first play Senegal on Nov. 21 and, according to the odds, they should have enough to win the three points being priced at -150.
The Netherlands played four Nations League games, winning three and being kept to a 2-2 draw by Poland. Without Van Dijk, the Netherlands allowed five goals in their previous three games. He is such a formidable defender because he so rarely makes mistakes, and he must ensure that they remain as rare as they are.
The Netherlands’ World Cup 2022 squad announcement is just a few months away from being named, and Louis van Gaal took a step closer to that final 26 with his last selection for the June Nations League fixtures.
As expected, van Dijk will lead the group but Matthijs de Ligt and Memphis Depay were also included in the group. Georginio Wijnaldum was dropped, though, after a disappointing first season with Paris Saint-Germain, while Bayern Munich youngster Ryan Gravenberch missed out through injury.
Frenkie de Jong will definitely represent his country in the 2022 World Cup provided he is fit. Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia is one of the new prospects in the Netherlands’ squad. He will be unveiled as Manchester United’s first signing of the summer and the first addition of the Erik ten Hag era.
The Netherlands is one of the best-attacking teams in Europa, so if you’re betting online and you love goals, back the overs in each of their games.