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Cristiano Ronaldo has been backed to dribble past the unstoppable Virgil van Dijk if Portugal face the Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League final.
The colossus defender turns his attention to international duty following Champions League success. He was a rock at the back in Madrid as he churned out a 'Man of the Match' performance to secure a trophy for Liverpool.
Van Dijk now has the chance to win silverware for the Netherlands as they face England for a spot in Sunday's final against Portugal.
And if they come out victorious, Van Dijk's ex-Southampton teammate Jose Fonte has tipped Ronaldo to beat him.
"It is not easy to get past van Dijk, but no one is unbeatable. It is an incredible stat, isn't it? If there is someone, Cristiano is one of them," Fonte said.
Of course, no opposition player has completed a dribble past Van Dijk in any of his last 64 appearances in all competitions for the Reds.
But he could be in store for a tricky game if the Netherlands play Portugal with Ronaldo firing on all cylinders. The 34-year-old scored a stunning hat-trick against Switzerland.
Muito feliz por ajudar Portugal a chegar à final da Liga das Nações! Parabéns malta! Obrigado ao público português pelo apoio fantástico. Força @portugal :flag_pt::muscle: pic.twitter.com/xz5g6Ymudn
- Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) June 5, 2019
"Without a doubt I knew he would be great when he came to Southampton," Fonte added about Van Dijk.
"I had many conversations with my international team-mates, including Cedric Soares. I remember telling him 'listen, this guy I am sure he will be one of the best defenders in the world'.
"It was obvious, not only to me - everyone could see the pace he has, how strong he is - he wins every duel.
"It was just about improving his positioning, and that is what he did when he came to Southampton, he stopped coming out with the ball too much, trying to dribble too much, playing simple."
Virgil van Dijk insists Lionel Messi should win the Ballon d'Or. pic.twitter.com/dWGSXvA8Ff
- ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 2, 2019
Van Dijk is one of the favourites to win the Ballon d'Or and Fonte isn't surprised to see him in the running for the coveted individual award.
"I am not surprised to see him disputing the Ballon d'Or this year, I am just pleased for him and I hope he keeps going like this.
"I think he has a shot to be honest at the Ballon D'Or. He was named Premier League player of the year, winning the Champions League, why not?
"We always give it to the strikers because they score goals and everything, but it is about time a defender gets one, no?"
Will Van Dijk guide his country to the UEFA Nations League final? Let us know what you think.
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