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Jonathan Woodgate praises the ‘outrageous’ Virgil van Dijk and makes a Champions League prediction

Van Dijk has played for Liverpool this season as they pursue the quadruple and faces a titanic battle with Karim Benzema in the Champions League final against Real Madrid

Former Real Madrid star Jonathan Woodgate has celebrated Virgil van Dijk
Former Real Madrid star Jonathan Woodgate has celebrated Virgil van Dijk

Jonathan Woodgate has branded Virgil van Dijk “outrageous” as he hailed the Liverpool star for his efforts this season.

Van Dijk missed most of last season with a serious ACL injury but returned to form in time for the start of the current season. He has made 48 appearances in all competitions and helped the Reds win the Carabao Cup and reach the finals of both the FA Cup and the Champions League.

The Dutchman is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the world given his performances since joining the Reds in 2018. One of the toughest tests of his career will come in a fortnight when Liverpool take on Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

For this clash in Paris, Van Dijk is likely to be tasked with tagging Madrid striker Karim Benzema. The Frenchman practically single-handedly dragged Los Blancos into the final, scoring hat-tricks against PSG and Chelsea in the process.

But while Benzema is one of the best strikers in the world, Woodgate is confident Van Dijk will be more than his match. In fact, Woodgate dubbed the Liverpool star the best centre-back he’s ever seen as he welcomed the 30-year-old.

“I think he’s the best central defender I’ve seen in my life. He is unbelievable. He’s an incredible player. Best I’ve seen against Van Dijk at his best,” he told BritishGambler.co.uk.






Van Dijk has already helped Liverpool win the Carabao Cup this season

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“You play against a centre-back like Van Dijk and he has everything. Everything you want in a centre-back. If you could create a centre-back and say that’s what I would make him look like – Virgil Van.” Dijk is that player.

“If Liverpool lose him, he’s irreplaceable. He’s the most important player in this Liverpool team. Playing against Benzema is tough, but playing against Van Dijk is like being on another planet. He’s just incredibly good.”

With Van Dijk sure to start in Liverpool’s defense against Madrid in two weeks’ time, Woodgate is certain he can guide them to victory. The former Madrid defender predicted his old side would struggle to contain the Reds’ aggressive style.

“Liverpool will win. They have too much. They are too aggressive, they are too fast, your finish is too fast. They are animals, these Liverpool players. They are a juggernaut of a team,” he added.

“They have so much skill in the team and so much pace, power and intensity in their game. I think Real will struggle with that. I’ve seen Real against City, Chelsea, PSG and yes they beat them all, but a bit needed.” Luck. In a one-off game against Liverpool – not at the Bernabeu – I think Liverpool will have too much and win.”

If they lifted the Champions League trophy in Paris, it would be their second such title in three years, having won the 2019 edition of the tournament. After winning the Carabao Cup in February and the FA Cup final on Saturday, they are on track to lift three trophies.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/liverpool-virgil-van-dijk-benzema-26922635 Jonathan Woodgate praises the 'outrageous' Virgil van Dijk and makes a Champions League prediction

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