Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has named Barcelona's Lionel Messi as the toughest opponent he has faced till date. The 28-year-old Dutchman also endorsed Joe Gomes as his preferred center-back partnered during Tuesday's Q&A session with his fans on social media.
Van Dijk's arrival at Anfield has evidently been rewarding and needs no telling considering Liverpool's fortunes in recent years. Having joined the Reds in January 2018 for a reported fee of £75 million, the Netherlands international has been a key member in Jurgen Klopp's setup, proving to be instrumental in the team's charge both domestically and in Europe.
On Tuesday, the 2019 Ballon d'Or Runner-up took to his Twitter page to engage fans while observing the mandatory self-isolation protocol instated in England in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. There, he was queried on numerous subjects, one of which was about the toughest opposition player he has faced in his senior career. The former Southampton star subsequently answered by revealing Lionel Messi as the one. He also named Manchester City's Sergio Aguero as the hardest player to mark in the Premier League.
There are some difficult strikers out there but probably Leo Messi— Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) March 31, 2020
Aguero— Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) March 31, 2020
While Van Dijk has managed to solve a huge part of Liverpool's defensive flaws, he has done so without a consistent partner in his two-year-spell at the club. The likes of Joe Gomes, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren have shared the responsibilities as a result of recurrent injuries.
When asked to choose his favorite center half partner, the Dutchman simple picked Joe Gomes out of the lots he had ever played with. This season, the pair have played together in the Premier League on 19 occasions and managed 10 clean sheets throughout the period.