Virgil Van Dijk

Virgil Van Dijk: Liverpool FC


Liverpool’s star trio, Virgil van Dijk, Cody Gakpo, and Ryan Gravenberch, have officially been included in the Netherlands’ squad for the upcoming UEFA Euro 2024 tournament. The confirmation comes from head coach Ronald Koeman, who announced his final 26-man squad earlier today. The announcement follows the initial provisional team listing made in May, which also featured the three Liverpool players. The tournament is set to take place in Germany, with the Netherlands pitted against formidable opponents in Group D, including Poland, France, and Austria. This news has stirred excitement among both Liverpool and Netherlands fans, with high hopes for the players’ performances on the international stage.

Virgil van Dijk: The Defensive Pillar

Virgil van Dijk’s inclusion in the squad comes as no surprise to football enthusiasts. The towering centre-back has been a cornerstone of Liverpool’s defense since his arrival from Southampton in January 2018. Known for his exceptional leadership, aerial prowess, and composure on the ball, van Dijk has established himself as one of the world’s premier defenders.

Van Dijk’s journey to this point has been nothing short of remarkable. His career trajectory, from his early days at Groningen to his current status as Liverpool’s defensive lynchpin, showcases his dedication and growth. At the international level, van Dijk has been equally influential, wearing the captain’s armband for the Netherlands and guiding the team through numerous qualifiers and tournaments.

His experience and tactical acumen will be invaluable to Ronald Koeman’s side as they navigate the challenges posed by their Group D opponents. With van Dijk marshalling the defense, the Netherlands will aim to build a solid foundation from the back, allowing their more attacking talents to flourish.

Cody Gakpo: The Emerging Attacking Force

Cody Gakpo’s rise to prominence has been meteoric. The young forward, who joined Liverpool in January 2023 from PSV Eindhoven, has quickly become a fan favorite at Anfield. Gakpo’s versatility, pace, and technical ability make him a potent threat in various attacking roles, whether on the wing or through the center.

Gakpo’s inclusion in the Netherlands squad is a testament to his impressive performances at both club and international levels. His ability to create and score goals has been a key asset for Liverpool, and Koeman will be looking to harness these qualities during Euro 2024. Gakpo’s flair and creativity will be crucial in breaking down stubborn defenses, particularly against teams like Poland and Austria, who are known for their disciplined defensive setups.

For Gakpo, this tournament represents an opportunity to further cement his status as one of Europe’s brightest young talents. A strong showing at Euro 2024 could propel him to even greater heights and solidify his place in both Liverpool’s and the Netherlands’ long-term plans.


Cody Gakpo

Ryan Gravenberch: The Midfield Maestro

Ryan Gravenberch, the youngest of the Liverpool trio, is widely regarded as one of the most promising midfield talents in Europe. Since his move from Ajax to Liverpool, Gravenberch has showcased his exceptional technical skills, vision, and maturity beyond his years. His ability to control the tempo of the game and make incisive passes has drawn comparisons to some of the great midfielders of the past.

Gravenberch’s selection for Euro 2024 highlights his rapid development and the faith that Ronald Koeman has in his abilities. As a central midfielder, Gravenberch will be expected to link defense and attack, providing a steadying presence in the middle of the park. His performances in the tournament could be pivotal in determining how far the Netherlands progress, especially in matches against high-caliber teams like France.

For Gravenberch, Euro 2024 is an opportunity to announce himself on the global stage. A standout performance could elevate his profile and position him as a key player for both club and country for years to come.

Ryan Gravenberch

Ryan Gravenberch

The Netherlands’ Prospects in Euro 2024

The Netherlands enter Euro 2024 with a blend of experienced veterans and exciting young talents, making them one of the teams to watch in the tournament. Under Ronald Koeman’s guidance, the Dutch have developed a dynamic and cohesive playing style, characterized by fluid attacking movements and solid defensive organization.

Group D Challenges

The Netherlands’ group stage fixtures present a series of intriguing challenges. Their first match is against Poland on June 16. Poland, known for their physicality and tactical discipline, will be a stern test for the Dutch. The match is expected to be a battle of wits, with the Netherlands’ attacking prowess pitted against Poland’s resolute defense.

Next, the Netherlands face France on June 21. This fixture is arguably the most anticipated clash in Group D, featuring two footballing powerhouses. France, the reigning World Cup champions, boast a squad brimming with talent in every position. The encounter promises to be a thrilling contest, with both teams likely to adopt an attacking approach. For van Dijk, Gakpo, and Gravenberch, this match will be a litmus test of their abilities against some of the best players in the world.

The final group stage match for the Netherlands is against Austria on June 25. Austria, with their blend of experienced campaigners and emerging stars, will be no pushovers. The Netherlands will need to be at their best to secure a positive result and advance to the knockout stages.

Key Players and Tactics

Virgil van Dijk will be the lynchpin of the Dutch defense, expected to neutralize the threats posed by top-tier strikers. His leadership and organizational skills will be crucial in maintaining defensive solidity. Cody Gakpo’s role will be pivotal in breaking down defenses and creating scoring opportunities. His ability to operate in multiple attacking positions provides Koeman with tactical flexibility. Ryan Gravenberch, in the midfield, will be tasked with controlling the game’s tempo and linking play between defense and attack.

Koeman’s tactical approach is likely to focus on a balanced style, combining solid defensive structures with fluid attacking movements. The presence of van Dijk allows for a high defensive line, enabling the midfield and forwards to press aggressively and recover possession quickly. Gakpo’s pace and creativity will be essential in transition phases, turning defensive actions into swift counter-attacks.

Expectations and Aspirations

The Netherlands’ fans and football pundits alike have high expectations for the team in Euro 2024. The blend of experienced stars like van Dijk and the youthful exuberance of players like Gakpo and Gravenberch offers a balanced squad capable of competing against the best. The team will aim to progress deep into the tournament, with aspirations of reaching the semi-finals or even the final.

For Liverpool supporters, the performance of their trio will be closely watched. A successful tournament for van Dijk, Gakpo, and Gravenberch could have a positive impact on their form and confidence heading into the next Premier League season. Conversely, the rigors of the tournament could also test their endurance and resilience, factors that will be crucial as they return to club duties.


The inclusion of Virgil van Dijk, Cody Gakpo, and Ryan Gravenberch in the Netherlands’ squad for Euro 2024 is a testament to their individual talents and the strength of Liverpool’s squad. As the tournament approaches, excitement builds around their potential contributions to the Dutch national team. With challenging group stage fixtures against Poland, France, and Austria, the trio will have ample opportunities to showcase their abilities on one of football’s biggest stages.

The performances of van Dijk, Gakpo, and Gravenberch will not only be pivotal to the Netherlands’ success but will also serve as a reflection of Liverpool’s influence in European football. As fans gear up for an exhilarating tournament, the spotlight will be firmly on these players to deliver memorable performances and lead their nation to glory.

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YNWA (You’ll Never Walk Alone)!
The Liverpool FC Times Team

By Jumana M M

Website writer for Liverpool FC Times

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