LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – Virgil van Dijk has brought a fresh pre-match ritual to Liverpool, implementing team huddles as the club’s newly appointed captain.
With Jordan Henderson departing for Al-Ettifaq in Saudi Arabia, Jurgen Klopp handed the captain’s armband to the commanding Dutch defender ahead of the 2023-24 season.
Van Dijk’s selection was a natural choice given his position on the field and the respect he has earned over the years.
Van Dijk wasted no time making his mark, gathering his teammates together before kick-off on matchdays.
Explaining this new tradition, he said, “It was something we did when I was a Celtic player, and I always liked it because I thought it set the tone for the game and also signaled to the crowd that we were ready to go.
“It can enhance the atmosphere, especially as the match is about to begin. If our fans want to join in by creating more noise and adding to the anticipation, I won’t complain, even if it makes it hard for me to be heard.“
Recent transfer windows have seen significant changes on the field at Anfield. Van Dijk now joins Liverpool’s leadership group, which includes Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson, Alisson, and Mohamed Salah.
Reflecting on this development, Van Dijk emphasized, “This club has had some incredible captains over the years, leaders who consistently brought out the best in themselves and their teams.
“To be on the list with individuals like that is not something I would have expected when I started playing.
“But the most important thing is that I am part of a team of leaders who each find their own way to take responsibility, regardless of who wears the captain’s armband.”
Virgil van Dijk follows in the footsteps of iconic Liverpool captains, including Steven Gerrard, Sami Hyypia, Ian Rush, Alan Hansen, Phil Neal, Graeme Souness, Phil Thompson, and Emlyn Hughes.