Liverpool Ace Responds to Brutal Mocking by Ruud Gullit with Dignity and Professionalism
Ruud Gullit blasted Liverpool player Virgil van Dijk following the Reds’ Champions League setback.
Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool has hit back at Dutch football legend Ruud Gullit, who accused the Reds skipper of defending like a’speed skater’. Gullit blamed Van Dijk for two of Real Madrid’s goals in the 5-2 Champions League defeat last Tuesday.
Van Dijk has had a difficult season at Liverpool. The 31-year-old has only recently returned from a six-week absence due to a hamstring ailment.
Yet that didn’t stop Gullit from slamming into his countryman following Liverpool’s thrashing by Real Madrid. “Van Dijk places his hands behind his back like a speed skater, and he bends his knees like a speed skater,” he explained.
“His body is leaning forward. He kind of kneels down in his moves and only has his hands behind his back so he avoids a handball when the striker shoots. That, for me, is too easy – and it looks clumsy.”
Van Dijk has already retaliated on the former Chelsea attacker. The centre-back has defended his performances, citing a string of injuries in recent years, including a ruptured ACL in 2020.
“I have nothing to say on that. I set high standards. People try to hold me to that so that’s what I try to do,” Van Dijk said.
“Coming back from the big injury and then being out for six weeks is tough so playing three games for 90 minutes is something I’m very proud of and have worked hard for.”
A goalless draw with Crystal Palace on Saturday was hardly the best response to Liverpool’s woeful Champions League display. Jurgen Klopp’s side were toothless at Selhurst Park and were unfortunate to leave South London with a point.
Klopp felt his side were too predictable. He said: “I think we killed the atmosphere with the way we played. When football is predictable, it means it’s easier to defend. To be unpredictable you need different movements, that’s what we have to offer in behind the lines as well.
“It was always in the midfield area. We gave balls away, but they were really aggressive as well. You feel something’s not right, but it’s an away point and it’s OK. It’s not brilliant, but it’s OK.
“In moments like this [we miss Darwin Nunez], but we can play without him. We have Diogo [Jota] on the pitch who can be the threat in behind as well. When Mo [Salah] and Cody [Gakpo] are dropping, Diogo has to be there.”