Virgil van Dijk fully fit for Champions League final

NewsVirgil van Dijk fully fit for Champions League final

Published 25th May 2022
By Sam Williams

Virgil van Dijk is fully fit for the Champions League final.

The centre-back has not featured for Liverpool since he sustained an injury during the Emirates FA Cup final victory over Chelsea at Wembley on May 14.

However, he is ready to face Real Madrid in Paris on Saturday evening.

“Yeah, I’m fine, absolutely fine,” Van Dijk told on Wednesday.

“No issues and very excited for Saturday, of course.”

After missing the majority of 2020-21 due to a serious knee injury, Van Dijk has made 50 appearances for the Reds and eight for the Netherlands so far in the current campaign. 

When asked if a two-week break between games may therefore have helped him after such a hectic season, the No.4 replied: “Yeah, I think physically definitely. 

“My body is definitely enjoying a little bit of rest after playing so many games, so many tense moments, and I think getting a little knock after the FA Cup final was maybe a sign that my body needed to have a rest. 

“I feel absolutely fine now and looking forward to, hopefully, a special evening.”

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This weekend’s clash at Stade de France is a rematch of the 2018 final, which Real won 3-1.

How much does Van Dijk feel Liverpool have grown and developed since then?

“[We have] grown a lot. A lot more experience, some different players, a lot of players who played in that game are obviously still playing [for us],” he stated.

“But I think experience and also the way we play, you know, it’s changed and it was our first final together. Obviously when you experience finals you take a lot of things with it, that’s what we did for example in Madrid, so it’s going to be the same. Obviously we play one of the best teams in Champions League history and we have to be very good to hopefully lift that trophy.”

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Twelve months on from that low in Kyiv, though, Van Dijk and his teammates bounced back to lift the European Cup in Madrid.

“Yeah, very emotional, of course. It was a big dream come true, I think it’s a dream come true for every footballer, I think, to be able to play a Champions League final but [also] to actually win it,” the Dutchman recalled of that evening.

“And also to win it the year after you lost it was special. Being with my family and my kids was a big thing, but this year could feel maybe a little bit more special because it is only my comeback season. That’s how I feel it. 

“It’s been an incredible year, a tough year, and we will see what happens. We enjoy it and yeah, see what it brings.”

Published 25th May 2022