2022 FIFA World Cup: DStv profiles Virgil van Dijk of Netherlands

Virgil van Dijk,

2022 FIFA World Cup – Player Profile


Virgil van Dijk, Netherlands


SuperSport viewers on DStv and will be counting down the days to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, with the tournament set to run from 21 November to 18 December and provide the most thrilling distillation of ‘The Beautiful Game’.

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Despite being considered by many as the best defender in the world, and being 31 years of age, Netherlands center-back Virgil van Dijk will in fact be appearing at his first major tournament when the 2022 FIFA World Cup is held in Qatar later this year.

The Liverpool player, who has also represented Groningen, Celtic, and Southampton in his club career, has not played in a senior international tournament since his Oranje debut in October 2015. This is because the Netherlands did not qualify for the 2016 UEFA Euros and the 2018 World Cup, while van Dijk missed Euro 2020 due to his recovery from a major knee injury.

“I also thought about being with Holland’s squad during the Euros, but even that didn’t feel right. Further rehabilitation and the focus on my return to Liverpool was more important,” said the Breda-born defender.


“I had my eye on the European Championship for so long – the focus on that remained. I am someone who always wants to know everything. So I talked to surgeons, physios, and players who had been through it before.


“At a certain point, I found out that every rehabilitation is different and that you cannot determine yourself how quickly you return. One day, I sat around the table with the surgeon and my wife, Rike.


“At that moment, I decided my focus had to be about preparing for the new season with Liverpool. Any small setback would push me further away from the European Championships so it was best to make that decision.


“I want to be fit for my first World Cup and I’m really looking forward to that. But I can’t hold back or be careful. I play football the way I’m supposed to play football.”


With van Dijk as their captain and talisman in defence, the Dutch will hope to assert themselves in Group A at the 2022 FIFA World Cup against Senegal, Ecuador and hosts Qatar.

Full name: Virgil van Dijk

Born: 8 July 1991 in Breda

Position: Defender

Senior club career: Groningen (Netherlands, 2011-2013), Celtic (Scotland, 2013-2015), Southampton (England, 2015-2018), Liverpool (England, 2018-present)

Club career stats: 442 appearances, 45 goals

International debut: 10 October 2015, Kazakhstan 1-2 Netherlands, UEFA Euro qualifier

International stats: 47 caps, 5 goals

Netherlands squads: N/A

*Stats correct as of 4 August 2022

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About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende