Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk insisted he is not daunted by the challenge of trying to stop Lionel Messi and Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals. Wednesday will see Liverpool travel to Camp Nou for the opening leg of the blockbuster final-four clash against the LaLiga champions.
Messi helped deliver back-to-back LaLiga titles for Barca – his 10th league with the club – and the Spanish giants are now eyeing a treble.The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored 46 goals this season, 10 of those coming in the Champions League, but Van Dijk does not fear Messi.”I think he is the best player in the world,” Van Dijk, who was crowned PFA Players’ Player of the Year last week, said. “But you see how we play and how we defend.
“We don’t defend one v one, we defend all together and we attack all together as well so we will see. We will be ready.
“The situation is that we are in the semi-final against Barcelona and we are going to face the best player in the world but it is not only him, the whole team has a lot of quality.
“We will prepare well and we have also a very good team so we can compete there. It is not like we are going there for a holiday.”
Last season’s European finalists Liverpool are fighting Manchester City for the Premier League title – a race set to go down to the wire – and Van Dijk added: “I see what we have. I see the players we have, I see the management and the way we play football so it is not really a big surprise but you still have do it and we have to do it on Wednesday.
“It is going to be unbelievably tough because Barcelona are one of the best teams in the world but anything can happen. You need to be ready for problems and we will be. We are going to try everything to go through to the final.”