Dutch legend Marco Van Basten has criticised Virgil van Dijk for his lack of leadership after Netherlands completed another below-par performance at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, NOS reports.
Van Dijk, who is Oranje’s captain during the tournament in Qatar, was on the receiving end of Van Basten’s thoughts after a lacklustre 1-1 draw against Ecuador in Group A despite taking the lead early on thanks to Cody Gakpo’s opener.
They could only hold onto the lead up until the 49th minute when Enner Valencia scored his third goal of the tournament after La Tri tested goalkeeper Andreas Noppert throughout the match but Van Basten did not hold back on his thoughts of the Liverpool defender.
“You get ahead very quickly,” Van Basten said of Cody Gakpo’s early opening goal against Ecuador.
“And then I think a thought arises of: ok, we are ahead, we have to defend. But that’s something that doesn’t help us. I think Virgil has to play the main role in that. He talks a lot, but says nothing.”
The former World Football of the Year went on to say that despite claiming Van Dijk being the best player in the squad, his passing and urgency needs improvement.
“Who is the best player on the team? That’s Virgil. When you see what he does in possession of the ball, it’s nothing more than tapping the ball to the players next to him. He needs to pick up the pace. It’s just way too slow.”
GBeNeFN | Tom Phillips