Why Virgil van Dijk doesn't have his surname on the back of his shirt
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Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk is one of the biggest and best players in the Premier League.
The Dutchman has had quite the impact since moving to England in 2015, excelling at Southampton and helping Liverpool win a number of trophies, including their first league title in 30 years.
The defender's currently out of action through injury but when he returns, you'll notice he doesn't have his surname on the back of his shirt.
The 31 year old's never revealed why this is the case but after a bit of digging, we've discovered the reason.
According to his uncle on his mother's side Steven Fo Sieeuw, Van Djik's dropped his second name because of a family feud.
“His dad split with his mother and his three children, including Virgil," Fo Sieeuw told The Sun back in 2018.
"The truth is his dad was not around for so many important years and it is his mother who is the real hero of this story.
It's understood that Van Dijk's siblings have dropped their second names too.
“You don’t take your dad’s name off your shirt without a reason and Virgil has made it very clear how he feels," Fo Sieeuw continued.
“Ron [Van Dijk] is a nice guy but you need to be more than that to be a good father. You have to be there for your children. Ron married again and his new wife was very domineering, so he didn’t see his kids much.
“I feel for Virgil, it’s like he’s been caught in the middle."
Van Dijk's not the only footballer to play with just their forename on the back of their shirt.
Former Tottenham star Dele Alli dropped his surname back in 2016, claiming he felt no connection to it, with Van Dijk's compatriot Memphis Depay doing the same for family reasons.
Although the Liverpool centre back has never gone into detail about the troubles of his childhood, he has opened up about the role religion played in his youth.
"When I was younger, I went to church every Sunday, and then when I got older, I stopped," he said, as quoted by talkSPORT.
"But sometimes I pray and I feel it has helped me through some tough times."
A Van Dijk-less Liverpool booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup last night with a comfortable win away at Wolves.
After an eventual pre-match build up on the BBC, The Reds eased to a 1-0 win thanks to a Harvey Elliott screamer, taking them a step closer to retaining the trophy they won last May.
Van Djik's expected to be back in contention in a few weeks' time.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool, Premier League