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Virgil van Dijk used key Liverpool lesson in Netherlands comeback at Euro 2024

BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 06: Virgil Van Dijk of Netherlands during the UEFA EURO 2024 quarter-final match between Netherlands and Türkiye at Olympiastadion on July 06, 2024 in Berlin, Germany.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Christina Pahnke - sampics/Getty Images)


Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk faced a familiar feeling on Saturday. He was captaining Netherlands in its Euro 2024 quarter-final against Turkey, a match it won 2-1.

The victory set up a mouthwatering semi-final against England, who had earlier beaten Switzerland on penalties with Trent Alexander-Arnold converting the decisive spot kick. A clash with his club teammate would have been far from van Dijk’s mind with 20 minutes of his match remaining, as the Dutch trailed 1-0 thanks to Samet Akaydin’s goal.

The 32-year-old has ample experience of dramatic comeback wins, though, most obviously when the Reds overhauled a 3-0 deficit to beat Barcelona in the 2019 Champions League semi-final. If the victory over Turkey was not quite so seismic, van Dijk likely took belief from what he has achieved in the past with Liverpool.

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He was asked after the match on Saturday if he had abandoned hope at any point. “No, of course not. That would be really bad. You have to do everything you can and that's what we did,” he said (via VI).

It was an issue the Reds faced many times in 2023/24. Jurgen Klopp’s side recovered 28 points from losing positions, the most the club has ever earned in the Premier League era. While van Dijk will have been part of the side which went behind, he also featured in every match which was turned in Liverpool’s favor.

“When you see how everyone reacted to a save, a tackle or whatever,“ he continued after the Turkey game. “We do it together and we did everything we could to reach the semi-finals. Now it's time to recover and prepare for another tough match."

"It is very nice and important to celebrate this with the public," he then said, referring to the Netherlands supporters. “We need them too, especially with so many Turks in the stadium.”

"I am very proud of these boys. We also started very well, in possession of the ball and possession of the opponent. Then we became more sloppy and lost balls in dangerous places. That made them more dangerous on the counter, even though we did not give away much. In the second half we had to stay calm and use the chances we got. We did that well."

Liverpool.com says: Netherlands’ winning goal was effectively scored by Cody Gakpo, albeit Mert Muldur got the final touch to make it an own goal. He will have experienced quite a few comebacks at Liverpool but van Dijk is the Dutch master of them. Just ask Barcelona.