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14th Nov 2021

Virgil Van Dijk meets with Arsene Wenger to outline biennial World Cup danger

Daniel Brown

“I think it is time they must start to listen.”

Virgil van Dijk has met with Arsene Wenger to warn the former Arsenal manager against hosting a World Cup every two years, suggesting that people need to think about the ‘health and safety of the players’.

Wenger – who is FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development – is keen to revolutionise football’s biggest international tournament by implementing a biennial World Cup.

However, a number of people within the game have expressed their concerns with the proposal – with Liverpool defender van Dijk revealing that he led a delegation of Liverpool players to discuss the topic with Wenger.

The Dutchman, who is enjoying playing regular first-time football again after spending most of last season recovering from a cruciate ligament injury, believes that the Frenchman’s idea will put the world’s top players in danger.

“We should not complain, but the matches are piling up,” said the 30-year-old, as per The Mirror.

“Playing matches is the greatest thing for any ­footballer. But the right choices must be made and people should look at the health and safety of the players.

“That is what we speak about. In England, we talk about this with the PFA, but a couple of weeks ago I was ­specifically asked to talk with Mr Wenger and players of our team about this idea of having a World Cup every two years.

“I appreciate that these ­discussions take place with us. But if we, as senior players at Liverpool and other big clubs in England, give our opinion, then I think it is time they must start to listen.”

It is believed that Wenger had requested a meeting with Jurgen Klopp’s squad in an attempt to better understand the ­reaction to potentially staging a World Cup every two years.

FIFA are said to be stunned and confused by the outrage and opposition to their proposed plan.

Van Dijk’s return to fitness and coincided with a strong start to the campaign for Klopp’s side, with Liverpool currently fourth in the Premier League and into the last 16 of the ­ Champions League.

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