Liverpool star admits ‘criticism affects me’ amid poor Euro 2024 run and ‘harsh words’ about him

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool

Virgil van Dijk has spoken on his poor Euro 2024 form

Liverpool and Netherlands defender Virgil van Dijk has admitted “criticism affects me” after some poor performances and “harsh words” at Euro 2024.

Van Dijk has long been one of the main catalysts for success with both the Reds and his national side. He has won eight trophies with Liverpool, including the Premier League and Champions League.

Alongside that, in 2019, he was named the UEFA best player in Europe.

At national level, while accolades have not come, he and the Netherlands have a good chance of going far in the knockout stages of this year’s Euros.

They, along with England and Italy, are the only three sides within the top 10 of the FIFA world rankings on their side of the draw.

But they would not meet either of the other two sides until the semi-finals, giving the Netherlands a chance to pick up form.

It seems necessary for them to do so, after falling to a 3-2 loss to Austria in their final group game.

Van Dijk was not close to his highest level in that game, something he is well aware of.

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Van Dijk taking responsibility for poor performance

“It goes without saying that I have to take responsibility now,” he said.

“We have spoken a lot in the last 48 hours and some harsh words have been spoken. That is of course necessary, because some things have certainly happened. I feel like it helped, but it’s really time to show that.”

Indeed, Van Dijk knows he has not been playing close to the top level.

“It makes perfect sense. I’m going to work on that too. I blame myself too. I’m not crazy, I know when things need to be improved. That’s what I’m working on. That is the basis for getting better,” he added.

The defender’s chance to prove he’s taken an upturn will come against Romania.

Van Dijk knows the importance of getting it right in the knockouts, and thinks the criticism can impact his play.

“The last match was definitely not my best, but personally that has not happened often this season. It is important to me that it stops now. That is the responsibility I take now,” he said.

“That responsibility is very great, especially at Oranje. And the criticism affects me.”

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