Virgil van Dijk was left so irate by his defending against Erling Haaland that he walked away from an interview about the Norway sensation.
Haaland exploded onto the scene in September with a hat-trick on his Champions League debut for RB Salzburg, the Norwegian going on to score 28 goals before the turn of the year for the Austrian side.
Such form peaked Manchester United’s interest and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were heavily linked with a move for the striker, who turns 20 in July.
However, Dortmund beat them to Haaland’s signature, his father revealing how the Bundesliga giants won the race over United.
Links to United and Real Madrid, however, refuse to go away, with Dortmund no doubt fully expecting to one day make a very tidy profit on the striker.
Haaland perhaps served notice of his talents when he twice gave Liverpool star Van Dijk a difficult evening’s work in their Champions League tussles with his former club RB Salzburg.
Liverpool may have beaten the Austrians twice, but they were given a torrid time by them – with Haaland in particular standing out.
After netting at Anfield – in a game Liverpool eventually won 4-3 – Van Dijk was asked after the game about the performance of Haaland.
But those questions, set by Norwegian TV presenter Jan Aage Fjortoft, prompted an angry Van Dijk to walk away; seemingly disgusted at his display against him.
Fjortoft told Blood Red podcast: “The first time I saw him [Haaland] live was at Anfield when he came on and I was amazed that this young kid created so much space.
“He scored one goal but he could have had three or four – he was unbelievable. I was amazed how he created space and how I define that is how his runs are wise and experienced.
“After the game, I interviewed Van Dijk, who I always like to interview because he is a gentleman, and I said ‘I have to ask you about the Norwegian, Erling Haland’.
“And he just said: ‘Well, we won the game’. So I said ‘Yes, but what do you think about him?’. “Van Dijk said: ‘I didn’t see a lot of him’ and he was a bit angry because there was some mistakes done.
“And I said ‘It’s a good sign for a striker when a defender says he didn’t see him!’ – and then he just went away, Van Dijk.”
Van Dijk earns Haaland plaudits
Clearly the feeling between the two players is mutual and Haaland has no hesitation in naming Van Dijk as the most difficult defender he has faced so far in his fledgling career.
“He is so good,” said Haaland. “He is powerful, quick, he possesses all the qualities. He is an incredible player.”