Virgil van Dijk is a professional Dutch footballer who plays the center-back position and currently captains the Oranje (Netherlands National Soccer Team). The defender, who commanded a world record transfer fee for a defender when he chose to swap Southampton for Liverpool in January 2018, is known for his leadership qualities, aerial prowess, passing ability as well as his dead-ball skills, characteristics that have seen him described as the ideal modern-day central defender.
He was born to a Dutch father, Ray, and Surinamese mother, Ruby, on the 8th of July 1991 in Breda, Netherlands. As a child, van Dijk suffered from a dangerous abdominal abscess that hampered his growth and left him hospitalized for a long period of time. But after surviving the ordeal, the young player was able to pursue his dream of being a professional soccer player.
Virgil van Dijk Soccer Career
While pursuing his career at local side Willem II, van Dijk went through a growth spurt that saw him shoot up seven inches. This sudden growth put pressure on his knees and hampered his ability to perform on the field, which led to him almost being cut by his team. After a year with the side, van Dijk transferred to Groningen in 2010 where he enjoyed some success. After spending a year with the youth team, he signed his first professional contract and was promoted to the first team, making his professional debut for the side on the 1st of May, 2011.
Virgil van Dijk’s career was on a trajectory with the Dutch side as he was banging in the goals, playing as an emergency striker for his team although he was also playing as a defender. A year into his Groningen career, van Dijk suffered another health scare when his appendix burst which meant he had to spend a few months out of action. The player later recovered and continued to show good form, prompting Scottish giants, Celtic to swoop in.
On the 21st of June 2013, Celtic paid Groningen a fee of around £2.6 million for the player’s signature and the towering Dutchman moved to Glasgow. In his two-year career with the Celtic, van Dijk played a total of 76 games, scoring nine goals along the way and winning two Scottish Premiership titles and the Scottish League Cup.
His next stop was in the England south coast after Southampton paid Celtic £13 million for his services. Virgil van Dijk took the Premiership by storm and almost soon after arriving, became a focal point for his team. After a year, the player was named the captain of the squad but that did not stop him from wanting to play for a team vying for the title. After a few failed attempts to leave, van Dijk was eventually sold to Liverpool in the 2018 winter transfer window for a fee of £75 million, a world record transfer fee for a defender.
Virgil van Dijk has gone ahead to become a focal point of the Liverpool defense, helping his team reach the 2018 UEFA Champions League final and earning a spot on the UEFA Champions League 2017–18 Squad of the Season list.
Does Virgil van Dijk have a Wife or Girlfriend?
Virgil van Dijk is a married man. The curled-haired defender is married to his childhood sweetheart, the beautiful Rike Nooitgedagt. According to reports, the couple, who got married in the summer of 2016, met each other while van Dijk was in the early stages of his career, playing for his local club Willem II.
Nooitgedagt reportedly stood by her man’s side as he made a name for himself in the Dutch league before eventually moving to Scotland. At this time, Nooitgedagt had a decent job, working as a fashion sales manager, but was, however, faced with the tough decision of either quitting her job and following him to a new country or staying back home and leaving everything to fate. She chose the former and the pair is today a happy family of three. They welcomed their daughter in September 2014.
Height, Weight, and Body Measurements
Birth Name: Virgil van Dijk
Date of Birth: 8 July 1991
Place of Birth: Breda, Netherlands
Height: 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m)
Weight: 92kg (203 lbs)
Body Measurements: Not Available
Zodiac Sign: Cancer