Virgil van Dijk names surprising name as toughest opponent he's ever faced

Virgil van Dijk has come up against some serious attacking talent in his career - and a lot of the time, he's managed to keep them at bay.

Whether it be Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski or Erling Haaland, he's had his fair share of defensive tests while playing in Liverpool red.

However, the Dutchman has surprisingly named a former Arsenal and Chelsea man as the toughest opponent he's ever had to face.

A player who is often regarded as criminally underrated, Van Dijk has singled out Olivier Giroud as the man he's struggled the most against - purely due to his goal-scoring exploits.

Asked about his toughest opponent, Van Dijk told France Football: "Olivier Giroud. Every time, you think you've got a hold of him, that you've got him well marked, but he always manages to score in one way or another: with his head, his foot, his knee.

"He has often scored against me. I always felt like I got him, but somehow, he always managed to score. Whether it was for Arsenal, Chelsea or France, he always scored.

"I said to him when we won the league, we won 5-3 [against Chelsea] we were 3-0 up or something and he scored a scrappy goal, I think it was against the crossbar and fell down, scrappy goal, I said to him: 'You scored again?!'

"So I would say he is the guy that scores against me, and just that annoying person."

As well as Giroud, Van Dijk did give a mention to the likes of Messi and Haaland, who he stated were also very difficult to defend against.

He added: "There's so many fantastic strikers I've played against, [Lionel] Messi, Aguero, Haaland is a difficult one because he has everything, but I'm going for Giroud as he's my bogeyman - annoying!"

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