Sunday Mirror


Van Basten: VVD should go to Euros. I went after eight months out injured... and was crowned champion

- By SImOn mULLOck

DUTCH legend Marco van Basten has pleaded with Jurgen Klopp not to block Virgil van Dijk’s route to the Euros.

Van Basten believes VVD should be allowed to link up with Holland’s squad this summer – even if he fails to play for Liverpool before then as he battles to recover from a cruciate ligament injury.

Ajax and AC Milan icon Van Basten became his nation’s hero at Euro ’88 – despite an eight-month injury absence battling an ankle problem with the Italian club that eventually ended his career.

And he believes that Van Dijk’s participat­ion in the delayed tournament would benefit the Reds.

Van Basten said: “If Virgil van Dijk goes with Holland to the Euros in June and is going to train himself up to his peak strength, then he will be able to play a few matches.

“That will benefit the player,

Wednesday night. But Holland are refusing to give up on Van Dijk after being pitched against Ukraine, Austria and North Macedonia in the Euro draw.

It is 33 years since Van Basten started the tournament that defined his career on the bench.

But he scored a hat-trick against England in Holland’s second game – and then but also his club. Virgil will be in his best shape for Liverpool and Klopp because he will be playing at the top level for the start of next season.”

Klopp is unlikely to rush back his Virgil has time to £75million train himself up defender unless to peak strength his team are for the Euros able to pull off another Champions League miracle by overturnin­g a 3-1 quarter-final deficit when Real

Madrid visit Anfield on

blasted home a famous volley in a 2-0 win over the Soviet Union in the final.

Dutch coach Frank de Boer is receiving regular updates on Van Dijk’s progress – and is refusing to rule out his skipper.

De Boer said: “Virgil is doing high-pace running and slalom stuff.

“He is not training with the team yet, but everything is going according to plan.

“Virgil is at a crossroads right now. Yes or no for the

Euros? As national coach of Holland, I can imagine that Liverpool are not in the mood to let him play. Their attitude is, ‘Why take the risk?’

“But if Liverpool can make it to the final of the Champions League, that could be the first match back for Virgil.

“I don’t think Liverpool want to risk him for trying to get the fourth spot in the Premier League.”

Van Basten also believes Chelsea manager Thomas

Tuchel is wasting the qualities of Hakim Ziyech.

The Moroccan played under Van Basten at Heerenveen and his old boss said: “Tuchel is playing him right behind the striker lately.

“Ziyech is such a good player – but not in that position.

“His strength, we all know, is best used when he is given a role on the flank.

“He has a killer pass from the right and loves to serve the striker or others in the box.”

 ??  ?? WEIGHT AND SEE Dutch ace Van Dijk hopes to follow in the footsteps of Van Basten (right) who truly shone at the 1988 Euros
WEIGHT AND SEE Dutch ace Van Dijk hopes to follow in the footsteps of Van Basten (right) who truly shone at the 1988 Euros

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