'We discussed that': Virgil van Dijk gives proper response to FIERCE criticism of his form

Liverpool and Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk has given a proper response to criticism put to him after his performances at Euro 2024.

Virgil van Dijk has been at the centre of a storm in the Netherlands this week after the nation's terrible performances against Austria. The Dutch lost 3-2 at Euro 2024, going behind three times to the underdogs.

And Van Dijk, as captain and star defender, faced the brunt of the criticism. The highest-profile stick came from Marco van Basten, who questioned the defender's leadership qualities.

Van Dijk has now responded to the comments ahead of the fixture against Romania. He says he understands the talk, but believes he can use it to improve.

Van Dijk responds to criticism

"[Some incidents] are snapshots in the match, so I find that difficult [to contend with]," said Van Dijk, per ESPN. "The criticism, especially after the last match, I can completely understand and I'm working on it, of course.

"I blame myself and I'm not crazy - it can be better and should be better. That's what I'm working on and I think [recognising that] is the basis for improving.

"Last match [against Austria] I certainly didn't play my best and that doesn't happen very often this season, luckily.

"The responsibility that I have and take and want to take is very high, especially with [the national team] and with Liverpool, of course, it's the same. That affects me and we have discussed that in recent days. So I also think I can and should be better at [leading]."

It's as good a response to it all as you could want, really. Van Dijk acknowledges that things must be better while getting across his own point of view - and doesn't entirely accept all that's been thrown at him.

Of course, this can only be one part of the response. The more important bit comes against Romania as the Netherlands look to progress to the Euro 2024 quarter-finals.

Do that and the noise will quieten down a bit. Fail and it's going to get much, much louder.

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