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04th May 2019

Virgil Van Dijk calls his reported quotes lavishing praise on Lionel Messi ‘fake news’

Kyle Picknell

Marca quoted the defender after the game saying that he’s glad he doesn’t have to play Messi every season, but Van Dijk isn’t having it

Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk has hit back at Marca after they attributed quotes heaping praise on Lionel Messi to the defender after Liverpool’s 3-0 defeat away to Barcelona on Wednesday.

Messi scored a brace – including a stunning 35-yard freekick into the top corner – to put his side into a commanding position heading into the return leg at Anfield on Tuesday.

Whilst the media and football fans all over the world (understandably) fawned over yet another imperious performance by the Argentine, it now appears that Van Dijk wasn’t, in fact, part of the frenzy of people to celebrate his latest masterpiece.

The Spanish newspaper originally reported that the Dutch international said of Messi after the game: “When he is at his best, there is nothing you can do to stop him. I am glad I don’t play in Spain and have to face him every season.”

The man himself, however, has now explicitly denied that he ever said those words and brandished the quotes as ‘fake news’.

Liverpool supposedly share the player’s frustration and according to the Liverpool Echo are bemused as to why Marca decided to make them up and publish the fake quotes.