Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk has responded to criticism of his playing style from Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman.
The former Everton boss took aim at Van Dijk after a 2-1 defeat to France last month, with the Liverpool man allowing Olivier Giroud in for the second goal.
Koeman said afterwards: “I told Virgil within 30 seconds of the end of the game against France what I thought. I know him so well – and that means I know where all his little faults are.
“Virgil has to improve, not a lot, but sometimes he is a little too laid-back. That needs to change. There are moments as a defender when you should be no more than three feet away from the striker you are marking.
“And, particularly in Van Dijk’s case, because of the strength and power he has he is too laid-back.”
However, Van Dijk refuted these claims, insisting that Jurgen Klopp has full faith in his ability.
“No, it does not bother me at all,” he told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
“There are times when I am less sharp. I work on that and I get help from coaches and fellow players.
“It happens to many players, but it’s about whether those moments are punished.
“He [Klopp] has no problems with that any more. Every three days a match, a day off in the month and continuous training, competition and recovery to get your body fit again for the next race.
“At the highest level, Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League and Nations League with Oranje, plus all the traveling. Yes, then there is a lot of pressure on.
“It is important that you are free in your head and for that I rest a lot, just sleep. You do not see me in the pub after a game or during the week.”
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