Virgil van Dijk has named the toughest opponent he has faced during his career, admitting he struggled when going up against Liverpool defender Olivier Giroud.
Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk has named former Arsenal and Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud as his toughest opponent, admitting the 37-year-old „always scores” against him.
Griot is widely regarded as one of the most underrated players of his era, despite an illustrious career that saw him win the Champions League, World Cup and Euros, overtaking Thierry Henry to become France's all-time leading goalscorer.
However, van Dijk is well aware of Giroud's quality, ranking him in an interview as the toughest striker he has ever played against. France Football. „Olivier Giroud. Every time, you think you've caught him, you've marked him well, but he always scores in one way or another: his head, his foot, his knee,” he said. GFFN.
He has often scored against me. Van Dijk named Sergio Aguero, Erling Holland and Gabriel Jesus as the three hardest strikers to defend against, adding: „They all make your matches very difficult.”
This is not the first time van Dijk has described Giroud as one of his toughest opponents. Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville in an interview overlap In November 2022, Van Dijk said Giroud was his „bogeyman”.
„I always felt I had him, but somehow, he always scored,” said the Dutchman. „Whether it was Arsenal, Chelsea or France, he always scored.
„I told him when we won the league, we won 5-3 [against Chelsea] We were 3-0 up or something and he scored a bad goal, I think it was against the crossbar, scrappy goal, and I said to him: 'Did you score again?!'
„So I'd say he's a goal scorer against me and an annoying one. There's a lot of great strikers I've played against, [Lionel] Messi, Aguero, Holland is a tough one because he has everything, but I'm going for Giroud because he's my bogeyman – annoying!
Giroud and Van Dijk have faced each other a total of 14 times, with the forward scoring six goals in those games. The pair are set to lock horns once again at Euro 2024, with France and the Netherlands both drawn in the same group.
Van Dijk is currently the captain of his national team, while Giroud has announced his retirement from international football after the tournament. He said RMC Sport Last year: „If we win it, I'll bow out. Maybe if we don't get to the end that's what will happen. I'm making the most of every minute.”
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