Virgil van Dijk on best friends, basketball & first day nerves | THIS IS MELWOOD


– How you doing, mate?
– How are you? Good to see you. It was the news all Liverpool fans
were waiting for when you finally became
one of our players. You’re a confident guy and you’ve achieved
so much in your young career already, but what about walking into a new
training ground for the first time, was there a little bit of nerves associated
with officially becoming a Liverpool player? Yeah, I think it’s more like the feeling
when you’re new at school, you need to get used to everything,
you don’t know anyone, but with the help of everyone around
the club, all the other guys who work here, it went very quickly, and so far
I can’t complain obviously. Give us an insight into how it happens then –
are you introduced to the group, do you walk into the changing room
and shake hands with everybody? I think my first day here
I met almost every player. You introduce yourself. Obviously then the Everton game, and then
after the Everton game we went to Dubai, so then you get to know everybody
much better than you do here, so basically that helped a lot as well. This is another place where
some of the hard work takes place, do you enjoy coming into work every day? No! Yeah, of course, you can do a lot of worse
things in life, but I think is a special place to come and do your work, enjoy the weather,
enjoy your work with the guys here. The Premier League is getting so fast,
the players are getting bigger, stronger, this is obviously where
a lot of that hard work takes place, do you spend a lot more time than
you need to sometimes in the gym, just making sure you’re in tip-top shape? To be fair, no, if we play a lot of games
I’d rather just play some basketball with a couple of the guys
and then prepare for training. Half an hour before we go outside
I just like to clear my head, relax, because it’s heavy, not only
physically but mentally as well. So sometimes you just need to
focus on different things. Talk to us about the basketball then, this is a competitive side to the players’
training, isn’t it? Who plays in these games? I play with Dejan, with Joe Gomez, sometimes Hendo likes to join in
but he’s not that good. Sometimes before training
we do free throws until ten. Yeah, Dejan is competitive,
but he’s not good enough. – He’s not very good?
– No, he’s not good. It’s so important that you’re close as a group, this seems the closest group I’ve seen
at Liverpool for many years, would that be a fair assessment,
that you are a tight group of players? Yeah, for me as well, I felt like that straight
away in my first couple of days, you don’t need to be perfect with each other,
but to be good with each other, want to work for each other, want to be there, tell each other if things are not going well. Even when we have little setbacks we stick
together and keep going and keep working, so I think that’s very important. Who are you closest to then,
who would your best friend be…? Ha, my best friend… I’m all right with everyone I think,
but obviously I knew Gini before, I’ve been playing some basketball
with the other guys, Joe, I like to spend time with Joe as well,
he’s a cool guy, and obviously Dejan, Mo, everyone, it’s a great group and everyone
is looking out for each other. Cos it’s a young group as well, we have this feeling that we’re
at the very start of something that could be… Hopefully, yeah. Even if we have boxes
and the youngest has to go in, I feel like I’m the oldest almost, they’re so much talent here and hopefully
we can keep going for years to come. So on this pitch as you prepare for games you’re facing probably
the best front three in Europe at the moment, can you give us an insight
into how difficult that is? Yeah, well, obviously I knew it before I joined,
I knew what I could face, but to see them, how they really are
in training and even over the games I’ve played together with them,
it’s just unbelievable. Not only the goals but the hunger
to defend and score goals as well, it’s just fantastic, and I think that’s
all credit to the coaching staff and also the rest of the players. What are they like to face from a defender’s
point of view, even in a training session? Yeah, it’s just sometimes
it can be a nightmare. Obviously you want to face these guys
in training to get better, but sometimes you think,
“Just leave it for the weekend…take it easy.” Our cameras weren’t quick enough, Virg, to see Dejan Lovren shouting
off the balcony there, I was gonna ask you who the biggest joker
was in the dressing room, does he feature in there? He definitely does feature, yeah.
A couple of other guys as well, Milly loves a joke, Mo loves a joke, so I think we have a couple jokers in the team,
but I think Dejan’s trying to be the guy, yeah. You have to be careful around these guys. You do, for sure, you need to be on your toes
and ready for anything that’s possible. Who’s the biggest moaner then,
somebody like a moan? I’d say Dejan as well.
He loves a moan as well. I think he’s getting old,
so I tell him that as well, as a joke. Does this place feel like home for you now? Yes, definitely. I feel set up, obviously
there’s still more to come, I feel it as well, I feel it within the group with the other boys,
that there’s still progress to make. But, yeah, to feel settled that quickly,
it’s all credit to everyone around, the club, the players, the fans,
and also my family help with that as well. So I feel at home, definitely.

100 comments

  1. 1:30 I'll be that guy's backup, LFC! I'll work for free if it's about the money!!! I'd be in heaven cutting grass all day long at Melwood….

  2. My favorite LFC player now. I love Salah don't get me wrong but Virgil is amazing. He brings a ton to the team.

  3. love watching our players play basketball…as an American its like seeing one of our NFL players try to dribble a soccer ball. These guys were raised using their feet in sport where as the majority of us were born using our arms and hands in most sports (mainly basketball in Indiana). World class athletes that I can watch shoot hoops and think to myself "yeah I'm better than them!" haha!

  4. Where are all the so called red who said he's not worth the sort of money we paid( ?
    The guy will pay it back in 2 seasons

  5. This bloke positively oozes charisma. Arguably, he's the best central defender in the league at the moment. Indeed, it looks like we have a great defense. Gomez coming in at CB with Trent outside him has been a revelation. I always felt Gomez had the potential and he's been fantastic. Lovren another notable guy has also played much better alongside VVD. With the rise of Trent, and now Gomez as a future Lovren replacement; furthermore, the incredible bargain Andy Robertson out left it's fantastic to see a British look to our back four/3. I'll add we'll probably see VVD Captain Liverpool at some point this season.

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  7. Haha i remember in 2017 this time we were broken as LFC fans after tracking the Merc van 😂.. So happy we finally got him #YNWA our wall, worth all the 💰 💰

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