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Football

"So strong and intelligent" - Neymar heaps praise on Liverpool man

Chris Stonadge

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"So strong and intelligent" - Neymar heaps praise on Liverpool man

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar has heaped praise on Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, saying that he is ‘intelligent’.

The Brazilian faced off against Van Dijk in Liverpool’s UEFA Champions League winning season, when the Reds faced PSG in the group stage.

Liverpool won 3-2 at Anfield thanks to Roberto Firmino’s late winner, whilst Neymar netted in a 2-1 win in the Parc des Princes.

The forward said in an interview with DAZN: “Playing against Van Dijk is tough because as a centre-back, he’s so strong and intelligent.

“He knows when it’s the right time to close you down and when to go in for a tackle. That makes it harder.

“He’s intelligent. It’s harder to play against intelligent centre-backs. They don’t make mistakes.”


Van Dijk has been widely regarded as the world’s best centre-back for the last few years, but has started this season in poor fashion, giving away two spot-kicks already and keeping only one clean sheet - in the 9-0 win over AFC Bournemouth.

Former Liverpool man Danny Murphy delivered a damning verdict on him after he conceded a penalty against Napoli on TalkSPORT.

“He's not up to his level. Before his injury he was arguably looking like one of the best centre-halves we've ever seen.

"The injury, which is a huge one and he’s come back from, although he's not had problems in missing games, I think psychologically he’s not in the same place.

“What I mean by that is not wanting to be as physically engaged with players and tackles.”

Van Dijk is still crucial for the Reds and will hope to return to the form Neymar describes.


Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Neymar, Liverpool, Virgil Van Dijk

Chris Stonadge
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