Interview'It will be special' – Virgil van Dijk's pride at captaining Liverpool in a Wembley final

By Sam Williams


Facebook Twitter Email WhatsApp LinkedIn Telegram

Leading Liverpool out in a final at Wembley is a prospect that excites Virgil van Dijk greatly.

The Reds face Chelsea in a repeat of the 2022 Carabao Cup showpiece at the national stadium on Sunday, with this tie the club’s first final since Van Dijk’s appointment as captain.

The No.4 was named Player of the Match after helping his team secure the trophy via a penalty shootout two years ago and he has detailed the honour he feels at skippering the side this time around.

“Very proud, very proud,” Van Dijk told

“Of course it was, I won’t say a relief, but [I had] the feeling of being proud when we obviously got the job done at Fulham and it will be a very proud day, a special day. Hopefully we can make it the best possible outcome by winning the cup and taking it back to Liverpool.

“I very much look forward to it. I very much look forward to seeing all our fans there of course, and hopefully getting our first silverware of the season.

“Obviously in this competition a lot of youngsters have contributed to where we are at the moment so everyone can feel proud and connected to where we are at the moment – and I think that’s why it’s good that we are there.”

Virgil van Dijk defender
View Profile

Sunday will be the third time Van Dijk has played for Liverpool in a Wembley final and he said: “It’s a special feeling.

“Playing finals for this football club is something out of this world and obviously you don’t want to lose finals first and foremost, but it is always a special thing and it is the first chance for silverware.

“Hopefully, if it happens, it will give us a massive boost for the last part of the season. It’s amazing and we all should enjoy the occasion, but definitely be out there and show the quality that we have.”

Last summer marked a period of change in terms of personnel in the Liverpool dressing room and Van Dijk is also proud of the fact a fresh group of players has been able to reach a final at the first time of asking.

“Yeah, 100 per cent, and it is not something we should take for granted,” the centre-back stated.

“Over the last couple of years players have left, that’s how football works at times, and new players have come in and it’s not a given that you settle that quickly and gel that quickly and make sure that results are going your way.

“And it has been, of course, so it will be a very good day in my opinion and I have been there for the Carabao Cup final. We won it and it is a very good day out, and hopefully we can make it a special one together with our fans by lifting the trophy.”

The days immediately after Liverpool secured their spot in this season’s final by beating Fulham in the last four were dominated by the announcement that Jürgen Klopp will leave the club at the end of the campaign.

So, does the manager’s impending departure provide Van Dijk and his teammates with an added incentive for the remainder of 2023-24?

“Yeah, I think everyone reacts obviously differently towards the news, like we all said over the last couple of weeks, all the players have given their reaction,” the captain replied.

“But we want to focus on the task ahead of us and obviously the final is waiting for us, and that is what we are looking forward to all together: together with the players, together with the staff, together with the manager, and we want to make that a special day and get our first trophy of the season.

“That’s how we focus on the situation and the end of the season will be probably very emotional for a lot of people, including the manager, but we are not there yet. We shouldn’t look too far ahead, we should look at what is in front of us and that’s what we want to do.”

You have to accept cookies in order to view this content on our site.

Watch on YouTube

Just as was the case in both the Carabao Cup and Emirates FA Cup finals in 2021-22, Chelsea provide the opposition at Wembley this weekend.

Van Dijk concluded: “The thing is, and I think how we always have been in our success and in our focus, is that we focus on ourselves. Obviously they have their goals but I want to look at our goals, I want to achieve our goals that we have and we want to go out there and win the final.

“We know it’s going to be a tough game because Chelsea is a very good team with very good individual players that can make a difference.

“So, we have to be very good but I am definitely looking forward to the final and hopefully we can make it a proud Liverpool day and get our first trophy.”

You have to accept cookies in order to view this content on our site.

Watch on YouTube



Facebook Twitter Email WhatsApp LinkedIn Telegram

This article has been automatically translated and, while all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, some errors in translation are possible. Please refer to the original English-language version of the article for the official version.