The first day he comes into training you’re thinking: Oh dear, this guy might not be here long. He’s just got everything, absolutely everything. It’s almost, sometimes too easy for him. I mean you can try to outrun him,
he’ll out-sprint you. You can try to out-muscle him,
but he’ll beat you physically. The way you’ve performed over the last
few seasons has been world class. Drive around, beating two or three men,
scoring goals, taking free kicks… He looked a threat every time he got on the ball. We’re all happy to have you here at Liverpool. Yeah, you’re an amazing person. You don’t look any different to be fair from those. If I were to ask you to talk about your childhood, How was it growing up? I had a great childhood. You know I was playing outside on the streets a lot. I have a little brother and a little sister as well, my brother is three years younger than me and, at that time, playing outside was it. Of the two of us he spent most of the time was goalkeeper, so I just tried to score some goals on him. I was always trying to be active,
playing different sports. Whether it was sort of baseball kind of games
or basketball, badminton, then football obviously which was great. For two years I was playing at my club in neighbourhood, which we just saw in the picture with WDS’19. Then I went to Willem II, where I played for 10 years
and I enjoyed every bit of it. It was amazing. Groningen, where you made your debut under Peter Huistra. What was that experience like,
finally becoming a professional player in the Dutch League? Yeah, it was unbelievable you know. I lived down south in Holland and everything was just… there and I decided to make the next
step all the way up north. If you compare it to England it’s
probably [moving] from Liverpool to… I don’t even know where to say,
Norwich or something. Still far but for us it’s like from
one way all the way to the other. It was a total switch, I lived on my own. I enjoyed every bit of it to be fair,
but in the beginning it was tough. I didn’t have my driving license so I went
to training on my bike every day. I was a bit lazy with getting my driving license. I wasn’t even involved with the first team, luckily towards the end of the season
I got slightly more involved and I was happy to make my debut then. You know to see him,
I haven’t seen him for a long, long time. So it was nice to see him,
I didn’t even know he was there. I hope he’s all good and what I say is I’m always grateful
for the people who helped me on the way. Hi Virgil! I’m Scott from Celtic, do you remember me? At the time nobody really knew too much about him, then two, three months into the season other lads were like: This guys is a player. Then you start speaking to the manager,
he starts speaking to other people and he just becomes the Rolls Royce of the team. I mean he’s the best in the world, you know… I think he could go play for any club now,
but I think he looks very happy at Liverpool. And why wouldn’t he be?
Two Champions League finals. A great Premier League run last year
and another great Premier League run this year. Celtic, what a time it was… Obviously before making the transfer to Celtic,
you’re going to look at the team. I think everybody knows Scott Brown anyway, so before I arrived there I was like:
How will he be? Will he be that crazy outside the pitch as he is on it? The way we played also,
most of the time we had 60% possession at least. We were attacking the whole time and that’s something
I’d never experienced previously in my career. I was always at teams that had the ball at times, but were more about defending than attacking. If you draw, it’s not good enough. You have to win. Thinking back now, in the game we played against Ajax in the
Champions League in my first year, the atmosphere was outstanding. We won, I think, 2-1. The atmosphere is something you never forget, it gives you that extra lift. It was very special. If you were to describe Virgil Van Dijk the player,
what would it be in a couple of words? Absolute legend. I think he’s going to go on to be one of the greatest of all time. Virgil, congratulations on winning
Goal Player of the Year, big man. Never thought you had it in you but unbelievable about it. Glad to have known you and enjoy it my man. You’ve come a long way since the bounce game
here at Lennoxtown against Carlisle, but we never doubted that your progress
would be as superb as it is. You’ve been a magnificent servant to your club so far and you’re doing wonderful things with Liverpool. Congratulations and have a great night. Nice words, yeah. You know those two have definitely played a part in it. I think Broony is making jokes about being a legend, but he’s a legend himself so… Always thankful for those words and
that’s the only thing I can say I think. Congrats Virgil on being number one in the world, really proud to see it and I think you deserves everything you get. The hard work you put in,
the qualities you showed when I played alongside you and the qualities you’re showing now it’s really good to see. Keep it going mate, really proud. Southampton was obviously your first step into the Premier League,>was that always an ambition you had of playing in England? Was it always something you thought you’d like to happen? Yes always. I think when I made my professional debut in Holland,
it was always a dream to play in the Premier League. It was the right time,
the right club for me at the time as well. Everyone knows Ronald Koeman. Me personally as a centre-back I definitely wanted to work for him. I have massive respect for what he’d done in his football career and as a manager I always had that respect anyway. At Groningen I think I met his dad,
who sadly passed away a couple years ago. We spoke at the time as well and
I’ll always be thankful for that too. Virge, I just wanted to say congratulations on the award,
you deserve it mate. I think the way you’ve performed over
the last few seasons has been world class. We’re all very proud of you,
it’s a massive achievement so well done. Hi big man, first of all I want
to congratulate you for the award It’s been amazing since you’ve been here, not only on the pitch but also off the pitch. We’re all happy to have you here at Liverpool. Trent and Gini doing their best
‘roving reporter’ impressions. Obviously when you left Southampton and came to Liverpool, it seemed and felt like this was the
only place where you want to be. Why was that and how quickly did you
realise you’d made the right decision? I made the decision based on many things, but I think my [gut] feeling is always the most important thing. I think Liverpool were just… were the strongest in multiple factors. The whole feeling that everyone is having here, I’ve been here almost two years now and so far so good. Obviously in football you never know
what can happen in the future, but so far I’m just very happy and glad
that I made the decision to come here. Hopefully it will always be good. You’ve said so far so good I mean, you’ve had two Champions League finals in a season and a half, you’ve had a record-breaking season in the Premier League, did you think it would go this well? I wasn’t expecting to be in the
Champions League final straight away, if I’m absolutely honest. I was hoping to just play as good as I can,
settle into the team. You never know what might happen but to be in the
Champions League final was something very special. On a personal level in that case, the year before I went to the final myself,
I went to watch the one in Cardiff as well. And the year after I was actually playing in the final. Unfortunately we lost it. What I felt before the final in Madrid was that
I don’t want to walk through the guard of honour, you know, getting a silver medal. That feeling is the worst feeling you can have at that time. I thought about it definitely before the game that
we’re going to make sure we’re not going do it. We have to get that trophy no matter what. Not a lot of players in their career win a Champions League, it’s such a difficult league to compete in,
such difficult teams to beat. We actually did it and I think we will always be
remembered it in Liverpool history for that. The moment that definitely plays in my mind
is when Divock [Origi] scored the goal and I was just, I knew it was done and
I was laying flat down on the ground. The final whistle is just, you know,
tears in my eyes from so much joy. There are a lot of players in that team
that never had the easy road. For example Robbo [Andrew Robertson],
as just a tiny example. Where he’s coming from and where he
is now is just amazing to see. I think that should also give power to
kids that are struggling at a young age. Just keep going because you never know
what might happen in the future. He’s our centre half, He’s our No.4, Watch him defend, And watch him score, He can pass the ball, Calm as you like, He’s Virgil van Dijk, He’s Virgil van Dijk. He’s our centre half, He’s our No.4, Watch him defend… Must have big head watching something like that… What a song, what a video actually. A couple of my family members were
in that crowd at the time and I saw that video actually before pre-match or
after the pre-match for the [UCL] final, I think I couldn’t properly – because usually we sleep after… I think I saw it after lunch actually,
but I couldn’t sleep any more. I was just so excited,
I wanted to just go out there. And I don’t have that too much,
I was just ready to go. I wanted to go out there,
get the trophy and party with them as well. I think that I’m very proud to get that song. That video definitely gives me chills. Yeah, what can I say, I can write a book about his skill, about his strengths, about how much I like him and what a fantastic person he is. So young, already so mature, so strong. All good. Let’s talk about the manager then, because I sit in press conferences sometimes and when he talks I sometimes feel like
I just want to go out there and play. I can’t imagine what it must be like
for a player to play under him… Yeah he has fantastic player management skills, I think. He does it just on instinct,
he just does it because he thinks it’s good to do. He will talk to you whenever. I definitely have a special connection, I think, with him. And like I said before I will always be grateful for
him making sure that I was going to come here. He’s just a fantastic,
complete manager with a clear plan. The whole philosophy of the club with him,
with the staff, with the players, it’s all one and I think that’s very
important in a football club. And hopefully we can achieve more things all together. You’re an amazing person you know,
it’s difficult to say a lot of good things about you, but I’m happy that I have you as a team-mate. Not only here, I’m also lucky to have
you as a team-mate in the national team. I hope this will be the first of many [awards]. Congratulations and good luck for the rest of your career. Captaincy and a nation that looks like
it’s on its way back up after some difficult times. How much pride does it give you to represent
the Netherlands and be captain? I’m so very proud of that. As a young football player in Holland I think
the dream is always to play for your country. Wear that orange shirt. To actually make my debut against
Kazakhstan away was unbelievable. It gave me so many good feelings,
proud moments. Obviously we’ve known some difficult times,
but at the moment it’s looking good. We have to keep working, stay humble and
get back to participating in tournaments. For now I’m just very happy and proud
to be the captain of our nation and hopefully lead the boys on in the next tournament. Ronaldo, Messi, Van Dijk.
That seems to be the three at the moment. So when you think about the last 15 years
and the way those two have been at the top, is that some achievement for you? Yeah. I’m very proud and it can only happen with the achievement
we get as a club, collective achievements. But to get recognition for that is outstanding. Maybe now I won’t really understand
how big it is because we are so busy. It just comes at me and I’m just absorbing everything. I think there will be a time when
I definitely realise what’s going on. For now I’m just very, very proud to be in that bracket. Proud to be in a nomination for the Ballon d’Or, what’s an absolute dream for every young football player. And, yeah, maybe it’s time for a defender to win it.