Harry Kane makes his feelings perfectly clear on Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk

Virgil Van Dijk of Netherlands and Liverpool Football Club with Harry Kane of England and Tottenham Hotspur FC in action during the UEFA Nations League Semi-Final match between Netherlands and England at Estadio D. Afonso Henriques on June 6, 2019 in Guimaraes, Portugal.
-Credit: (Image: Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

Harry Kane is anticipating a tough fight with Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk when England takes on The Netherlands for a place in the Euro 2024 final. He has name-checked the big center-half ahead of the semi-final showdown.

Neither Kane nor Van Dijk have had the easiest of tournaments on a personal level. The Liverpool captain has faced criticism from within his own country, while Trent Alexander-Arnold has lent his support to Kane amid similar conversations in England.

But both have stellar reputations to fall back on, having established themselves as among the best in the world in their respective positions over the past few years. The fixture will see them go head-to-head.

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Kane has struck five times against Liverpool in 10 league meetings since the arrival of Van Dijk at the club. He was also famously on the losing side in the Champions League final.

He's admitted that Van Dijk has sometimes got the better of him. But speaking in the pre-match press conference, he pledged to make his life "uncomfortable":

"Yeah, in terms of Virgil, we have had some really good battles over the years from when he was at Southampton, at Liverpool," said Kane. "A lot of tough games, a lot of big games.

"Sometimes he has won that battle, sometimes I have won that battle. Tomorrow night will be a tough game. Whoever plays will be tough opponents.

Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur, Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool FC, Heung Min Son of Tottenham Hotspur during the UEFA Champions League match between Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool at the Wanda Metropolitano on June 1, 2019 in Madrid Spain.
Van Dijk came out on top against Kane in the 2019 Champions League final. -Credit:David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

"Yeah, I would always prepare in the same way, trying to make their lives as uncomfortable as possible. I am sure he will try to do the same to me. I enjoy playing against the best players in the world, that’s what we play football for, that’s why we play these games, and I am looking forward to that challenge tomorrow.”

Kane has so far struck twice at Euro 2024, against Denmark and Slovakia. Van Dijk, meanwhile, has kept two clean sheets for the Netherlands, against France and Romania. says: The last game that Kane played against Liverpool before the arrival of Van Dijk was the humbling 4-1 defeat at Wembley while the new Spurs ground was being built. That game underlined the need for the Reds to go out and make a statement signing.

And the transfer proved absolutely transformative. Less than two years later, Liverpool was winning that Champions League final against the same opposition.

Of course, England will hope Kane finds a way to come out on top this evening. But there's clearly a great deal of respect for Van Dijk.