Huge news: Virgil van Dijk makes decision on travelling to the Euros

Virgil van Dijk has spoken for the first time since rupturing his ACL in October in an exclusive interview with Liverpool’s official website.

The Dutchman’s anterior cruciate ligament was ruptured when Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford launched himself at van Dijk, colliding with his knee and causing it to bend unnaturally.

He subsequently underwent a successful ACL reconstruction surgery but has since been out of action for 206 days, missing most of the 2020/21 season.

Van Dijk played just five times in the Premier League before his injury and his absence effectively cost Liverpool their chances of retaining their crown as league champions.

Liverpool interview van Dijk for the first time in 2021

He told Liverpoolfc.com: “I’m actually quite good; I’m feeling positive and full of energy and I’m obviously working very hard. It’s been a very, very tough journey so far, but I am in a good place right now and I’m progressing nicely.

“In this latest stage for myself, I have come to a decision that I had to make: would I be involved in the Euros, yes or no? With everything that is going on, I feel physically it is the right decision that I’ve decided not to go to the Euros and to go into my last phase of rehab during the off-season.

“So, the full focus will be on pre-season with the club and that’s a realistic goal, so I am looking forward to that.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 17: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool is tackled by Jordan Pickford of Everton which led to Virgil van Dijk being substituted for an injury during the Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on October 17, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

“Obviously I am very gutted to miss the Euros, to miss the European Championship and leading out my own country there, but things have been like they have and I have to accept it – we all have to accept it. I think the decision to not go is the right decision in the grand scheme of things. It’s tough, but I’m at peace with it.”

What Anfield Central knows about van Dijk and the Euros

We reported in March that Liverpool would not stop van Dijk from travelling to the Euros if they felt his knee was healthy enough. The club didn’t want to sour its relationship with its most important player by refusing to allow him to travel to a major international tournament.

Van Dijk has taken the decision himself to not travel to the Euros with the Netherlands, relieving Liverpool of a hugely difficult decision.

The club was worried about the new rule UEFA had made to allow national teams to take 26 players with them to the Euros but they will now feel relief as their £75million man will be able to benefit from a full pre-season after a horrible injury.

Van Dijk and his importance to Liverpool Football Club

Since the Dutchman signed for £75million in 2018, the Reds have reached two Champions League finals, winning one and were crowned league champions for the first time in 30 years.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – JULY 22: Joe Gomez, Georginio Wijnaldum and Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool celebrate with The Premier League trophy following the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield on July 22, 2020 in Liverpool, England. PHOTO BY PHIL NOBLE/POOL VIA GETTY IMAGES.

In their first season without him, Liverpool have capitulated entirely and now are now facing a 2021/22 campaign without Champions League football if their fortunes aren’t reversed in the next couple of weeks.

At the time of writing, Liverpool are seven points behind Chelsea in the Premier League table and face Manchester United on Thursday which could decide their fate.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

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