Rafael van der Vaart slams Virgil van Dijk performance and makes plea to Liverpool captain

Rafael Van der Vaart working as a pundit
-Credit: (Image: Ziggo Sport)

Rafael Van der Vaart hit out at Virgil van Dijk's performance in Holland's defeat to Austria and called on the Liverpool defender to show more passion when representing his country.

Van Dijk was captain as Ronald Koeman's side lost 3-2 to Austria and surrendered the opportunity to win Group D. Liverpool's Cody Gakpo had restored parity for the Dutch early in the second half, but a lapse of concentration from Virgil van Dijk played Marcel Sabitzer onside to score an 80th-minute winner.

Holland had already booked their place in the last-16 of the European Championships before Tuesday's game, but that wasn't enough to encourage former Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid midfielder Van der Vaart, who launched a scathing attack on Van Dijk and his team-mates after the game.

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"We played [the game] the way Virgil van Dijk just talked! We just had to watch a disgraceful performance!" said the 41-year-old while working for the Dutch TV station NOS. "I want the captain from our country to show some passion!"

Holland's qualification to the knockout stages of the competition comes as one of the four best-performing third-placed teams in the group stages and has the potential to set up a clash with England in the latter stages of the competition.

Van Dijk has started all three of Holland's games at this summer's finals, while his Anfield team-mate Gakpo has scored two goals from three starts.