Virgil van Dijk Warns Teammates Against Lionel Messi’s Threats Ahead Of Quarterfinal Clash Vs Argentina

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Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk has warned his teammates against the threats posed by Lionel Messi as the Dutch prepare to take on Argentina in the 2022 World Cup quarterfinal.

The Liverpool center-back is one of the top Dutch defenders that Louis van Gaal will depend on to stop Lionel Messi ahead of the game.

Van Dijk is one the best defenders in the Premier League but will face a tough test as the team gets ready to tackle the Argentines in a highly-anticipated quarterfinal clash.

The Liverpool captain will lead the Oranje as they go head-to-head with the star-studded South Americans.

Van Dijk warned his teammates to keep an eye on Lionel Messi, who is the main threat going into the game. Lionel Messi has scored three goals so far in the tournament. He will be hoping to lead the Argentines to another major international trophy after peeping Brazil to the Copa America trophy in 2021.

Virgil van Dijk

The PSG forward knows what is at stake, as this may be his last World Cup campaign with Argentina’s national team.

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Lionel Messi had stated that the current World Cup may likely be his last World Cup campaign with the team as age is no longer on his side.

Argentina has been tipped as favorites to win the tournament, given the depth of quality in the team.

They opened their World Cup campaign with a shock 2-1 loss to tournament minnows Saudi Arabia before winning the last two games against Mexico and Poland.

In the round of 16, Argentina eliminated Australia after winning 2-1 with Lionel Messi on the score sheet for the South Americans.

The Netherlands opened their World Cup campaign on a winning note, defeating African champions Senegal. They also drew against Ecuador and defeated Qatar to emerge as group winners.

In the round of 16, the Louis van Gaal-led squad humbled USA 3-1 to proceed to the quarterfinals.

While Virgil van Dijk has helped keep the backline to push the team to the round of 16, Argentina has relied on Lionel Messi’s invaluable contribution to make it to the last 8.

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Messi scored against Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Australia and will be hoping to find the back of the net against the Dutch side.

In a post-match press conference, Virgil van Dijk urged his teammates to leave no stone unturned when marking the Argentine playmaker.

He spoke of the difficulty of tackling Lionel Messi and asked his teammates not to lose focus on the PSG star.

“The difficult thing about him is when we are attacking, he is chilling somewhere in a corner or something. You have to be so very sharp in terms of defensive organisation,” Virgil van Dijk said.

Virgil van Dijk

“They always looked for him to try to make it difficult for us on the counter. It is not me against him or the Netherlands against him, but the Netherlands against Argentina. No one can do it on his own, we will have to come up with a good plan.”

Virgil van Dijk’s fears was affirmed by Netherland’s coach Louis van Gaal, who maintained that Lionel Messi is one of the most dangerous players, given his ability to create numerous chances in the game. He, however, added that his team still stands a chance against the Argentines, as Messi usually failed to join the chase when the team loses the ball.

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“You will see on Friday. I won’t tell you. Messi is the most dangerous creative player, he is able to create a lot and score goals himself. But when they lose the ball he doesn’t participate much, this gives us chances,” Van Gaal said.

The winner of the tie between Netherlands and Germany will face the winner of the match between Brazil and Croatia in the semifinals.

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