UCL: Virgil van Dijk ready for Lionel Messi challenge

Barcelona and Lionel Messi await Liverpool in the Champions League semifinals, a daunting prospect according to Virgil van Dijk.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk: "It's a great match-up for all of us."   -  Getty Images

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has admitted that he is daunted by the prospect of facing Lionel Messi in the Champions League semifinals.

Van Dijk scored as Liverpool sealed its place in the last four with a 4-1 win over Porto on Wednesday, giving the Reds a 6-1 aggregate victory. Next up is Catalan giant Barcelona and its mercurial superstar Messi — who helped eliminate Manchester United on Tuesday with two goals.

And facing the Argentina international is something Van Dijk knows will not be easy. "It's going to be a great match-up for all of us," Van Dijk told Viasport Fotball.

 

"It's about doing it all together, it's never 1vs1, it's never just me against a particular striker. It's always us against everyone and I think that's the only way we can defend well. And it's going to be very hard and I think he [Messi] is the best player in the world but we'll see."

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Alisson will inherit the No. 1 shirt from the start of the 2019-20 season, the club confirmed as it launched its new kit. The Brazilian has been wearing 13 since his arrival from Roma and has been a key player in its title challenge, with 18 clean sheets.

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