By 90Min
June 29, 2019

Virgil van Dijk has attributed his impressive statistic of not being dribbled past once last season to his youth of playing street football in his native Netherlands. 

Few players had a bigger impact on their team last season than Van Dijk, completely transforming Liverpool's back four since his arrival to help them to the best defensive record in Premier League.

Clive Rose/GettyImages

The Reds' total league goals conceded fell by over half in the space of a year from 46 to just 22. That stable foundation also helped lead the club to Champions League glory.

Van Dijk became the first defender since John Terry in 2005 to win the PFA Player of the Year award for his performances last season. And that £75m price tag is looking increasingly like a steal after the Dutchman wasn't beaten by anybody once in the entire Premier League campaign.

The 27-year-old also captained Netherlands to the UEFA Nations League final this summer, and whilst on international duty, he revealed the secret behind that stellar Liverpool record in an interview with Unisport, via the Liverpool Echo.

Van Dijk was quoted as saying: "I have had the benefit of a lot of one-v-ones by playing a lot on the streets. I played in a lot of five-a-side games when I was younger and I loved to attack in those days as well, so you got a bit of a feeling how attackers might think in certain situations.

"Obviously that comes with experience in my professional career too, but I think if you want to progress as a defender or an attacker then just keep playing in the streets with your friends."

Having established himself as on the Premier League's best defenders, Van Dijk also revealed he is hoping to improve his game at the other end of the pitch adding: "As a defender, you always like to contribute with clean sheets, obviously, that is the most important thing.

Michael Regan/GettyImages

"But if you can contribute with a goal that is always a good thing. If you look at me personally, I am pretty tall and I should be dangerous on attacking corners and free-kicks and I am working on it."

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