Lionel Messi praises Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk for his performances

Lionel Messi praises Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk for his performances

- Lionel Messi has explained that Virgil Van Dijk is a great defender

- The Argentine explained that his ability makes it difficult for him to be dribbled

- Van Dijk and Lionel Messi met twice last season in the Champions League

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has saluted the ability and versatility of Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk ahead of the Ballon d'Or battle between these two players.

Already, the Argentine has pipped the Dutchman to win the FIFA's Best Man's Player of the year award in a big ceremony held in September.

Since Virgil Van Dijk joined Liverpool from Southampton, he has become one of the best defenders in the world considering his performances.

Last season, Virgil Van Dijk and Lionel Messi met twice in the Champions League in which the Barcelona star failed to go pass the agile defender.

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This term, the Dutch international has continued his rich vein of form for Liverpool as he has played in all the Reds' eight Premier League games so far.

Lionel Messi has now explained according to the report by Marca that Virgil Van Dijk can cause damage at both ends of the pitch.

"He is a defender who knows how to judge his timing and wait for the right moment to challenge or jockey the attacker.

"Dijk is very fast and big, but he has a lot of agility for his height.

"He is fast because of his great stride, and he is impressive both in defence and attack because he scores lots of goals,'' Lionel Messi told Marca.

Earlier, had reported how Virgil Van Dijk became a surprise summer target for Real Madrid and the Spanish giants are looking to tempt the Liverpool star to the Bernabeu.

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The one-time most expensive defender is now rated as one of the best center-backs in the game since his £75 million move from Southampton in January 2017.

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