Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk went down clutching his right ankle following a collision in the closing seconds of Netherlands’ 6-1 victory over Turkey on Tuesday night
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has shrugged off fears he suffered an injury during Netherlands’ thrashing of Turkey on Tuesday night.
Van Dijk, 30, went down clutching his right ankle following a collision in the closing seconds of the 6-1 victory after goalkeeper Justin Bijlow underhit a pass to him.
The centre-back only returned to action for Liverpool in August after 10 months on the sidelines with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.
But Van Dijk played down the severity of the knock he picked up in the World Cup qualifier against Turkey, insisting he will be “fine” to face Leeds United in the Premier League on Sunday.
“I’m fine, luckily. I’m already over it,” Van Dijk told reporters after the match. “Maybe because I am so big, they think I am acting, because when I go down, it goes in quite a slow way.”
Van Dijk – who serves as Netherlands captain – will have been disappointed to lose his clean sheet after Bijlow’s distribution error.
But Liverpool fans will simply be relieved their talismanic figure was not injured in the incident.
Barcelona forward Memphis Depay was the star performer at the Amsterdam Arena, scoring his first hat-trick for his country and also contributing an assist for Davy Klaassen’s first-minute opener.
Guus Til and Donyell Malen grabbed the other goals in the dominant victory, which sent the Oranje top of World Cup qualifying Group G, while Cengiz Under scored the consolation goal for Turkey.
Despite his heroics, Memphis was not entirely happy with his display, saying: “I played sloppy at the start. I lost my first 3 balls.
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“I expect more of myself, that’s it. People think I am always over the moon, but I can do better. Of course it was a great night!”
Memphis’ hat-trick saw him level national heroes Johan Cruyff and Abe Lenstra in Netherlands’ top goalscorer charts with 33.
“These are legends,” said Memphis of his achievement. “We can’t compare others with them, they put our country on the map.
“But I do aim for more. I am aiming for the top three, and from there… let’s see how far I can go.”
Meanwhile, Louis van Gaal – who replaced Frank de Boer in the hot seat after Netherlands were eliminated from Euro 2020 at the last-16 stage by Czech Republic – was delighted with the performance.
“This group is fantastic,” said Van Gaal. “And I got the feeling that this group wanted me from day one, despite all the rules I demand.”