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Featured Image Credit: Image: Twitter
Virgil van Dijk is the master of activating an offside trip, as a viral compilation shows.
The Netherlands international is widely deemed to be the best defender in world football at the moment, with the perfect blend of physical and technical skills.
Van Dijk is not only strong and quick but he's also incredibly smart and has more than justified the world-record £75 million fee Liverpool paid to sign him from Southampton.
And one of the most notable signs of his intelligence is his ability to catch an opponent offside.
As a team who press so high up the pitch with incredible intensity, Liverpool play with a higher line than most teams.
They push right up into the opponent's half in an attempt to pen them in and not allow them to have any foothold in a game.
As a consequence, it means that other teams will prioritising playing on the counter attack against Liverpool and look to hit them on the break.
That's where Van Dijk comes in. The former Celtic man has proved to be an expert in playing forwards offside and marshalling the backline.
A clip of him doing just that has racked up 130,000 views on Twitter, as well as a whole lot of likes and retweets.
Van Dijk is really the master of the offside trap. His in-game intelligence is unmatched. https://t.co/SiVOn6mJAs— Stef Khan (@Stef_Khan) April 18, 2022
Young defenders should watch this; look how the CBs look around to see where the line is, they DON'T wait to the last min. to set the line, they immediately recover once the ball is played. https://t.co/cxFJOmkdLI— J Straub (@straubjh) April 19, 2022
Weird that virg never puts his hand up to claim for offside too, always Robbo/Matip https://t.co/pc2oAYyp7q— Alex (@lynchyyy8) April 19, 2022
This is why Virgil and Matip are crucial. Look at how they observe and call for that line. Super impressed, looks like behind the scenes stuff. https://t.co/8PuJH6S38y— Rasta (@Tanzan1anDream) April 19, 2022
Our defensive line is a joke 👏🏻 and commentators say the other teams have “loads of chances” when 99% of them were offside 😂😂 https://t.co/Few1Gz5R3Z— Danny Edwards (@dan_eds94) April 19, 2022
It is a risky move at times but Van Dijk always backs himself, even if the linesman is late in flagging and sometimes needs the intervention of VAR.
He regularly steps up at exactly the right moment and can also be seen calling on his defensive partners to do the same.
Plus, you never seen him stand still with his hand up appealing - occasionally he'll have a quick glance across but otherwise Van Dijk is sprinting back into position with those long legs.
Recently it was said that Van Dijk had triggered 40 offside traps this season - which is more than any other player in Europe's top five leagues.
Simply put, he's perfected catching players offside.