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Virgil van Dijk names the toughest player he has ever faced

Van Dijk at Liverpool
© Ace Football

The Liverpool and Netherlands defender has picked a surprising player as his toughest foe – above even Lionel Messi.

AC Milan striker Olivier Giroud is the player that Virgil van Dijk rates as the toughest opponent of his career.

Van Dijk is widely regarded as one of the greatest defenders in the world. The Liverpool captain has faced many great attackers, including eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, as well as Manchester City fan favorites Sergio Aguero and Erling Haaland.

“Messi, Aguero, Haaland is a difficult one because he has everything, but I’m going for Giroud,” Van Dijk told France Football when asked who is the most difficult player he has ever faced.

“He’s my bogeyman – annoying!”

Giroud, who formerly played for Arsenal and Chelsea in the Premier League, has faced Van Dijk in 14 club and international games. The Frenchman scored six goals in total during these matches.

“Every time, you think you’ve got a hold of him, that you’ve got him well marked, but he always manages to score in one way or another: with his head, his foot, his knee,” Van Dijk said.

“He has often scored against me.

“I always felt like I got him, but somehow, he always managed to score. Whether it was for Arsenal, Chelsea, or France, he always scored.”