Virgil van Dijk targets unprecedented quadruple for Liverpool

Alam Khan - Reporter 01:39 20/09/2018
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Virgil van Dijk has anchored a strong defence for Liverpool during their start to the season.

Virgil van Dijk says Liverpool will target the unprecedented quadruple of trophies as he bids to make history with the Reds.

Confidence is sky high at Anfield following six successive wins – the first time they have done that at the start of a season since 1961.

The latest came in the Champions League on Tuesday as they edged Paris Saint-Germain with an injury-time winner from Roberto Firmino after the French champions had pulled back a two-goal deficit in their enthralling Group C encounter.

For van Dijk, that was another sign of Liverpool’s strength of character and quality – and belief they can achieve something no English side has managed to do, rather than prioritise one competition like the league.

“Everyone is excited, feeling good, wanted to be part of this,” said the £75 million centre-back, whose side came fourth in the Premier League last season and were beaten by Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

“We know the season is very long, four competitions to play and we want to win everything. That’s basically our mindset. You need to have ambitions.

“With the size of this club, the people around here and with the history, we want to try to win everything. It’s going to be hard, we know it’s something very difficult to do, but we are going to try. That’s what we are here for.

“I’ve enjoyed every bit since I arrived here and hope to keep going. I want to win things, create memories here and write history as well with all of these boys.”

Liverpool’s weekend win at Tottenham saw them top the Premier League with Chelsea after five games.

And the impressive result, and display, against a PSG side featuring Neymar and Kylian Mbappe was further evidence they will be contenders for the big prizes.

“I think everyone had that feeling,” added van Dijk, 27. “We were not in the [Champions League] final last season for no reason. I think we should have already got the respect, but this season is new.

“Everyone starts over and we need to show it in every game.

“We need to keep going, keep improving, but also enjoy it. It’s the highest stage.

“If you are going to be on the pitch and you don’t believe it [that you can beat teams like this] then you need to stay home. You need to believe in your team. I have the belief. I’m enjoying it. I think it’s a great time to be a Liverpool player. You want to play in these games, you want to play these clubs.”

Liverpool’s depth of talent was highlighted against PSG when Firmino struck late after coming off the bench. He had been doubtful with an eye injury and his replacement, Daniel Sturridge, claimed the opening goal before James Milner added a penalty.

With summer signings Naby Keita, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri also on the bench, van Dijk has been heartened by the options available to Jurgen Klopp.

“When one player is out, another one needs to be in there for him,” said the Dutchman.

“If you look at the team, the whole squad, players who are not even in there and have so much potential, so much quality, it says a lot about our team.

“At the end, it’s about making sure everyone is there for each other. That started for us in pre-season and hopefully we can just keep going.

“We have had a good start but there may be times when we have downs and it’s important how we react. We have won nothing yet and need to keep working hard and be humble. But I’m not worried about anything like that.”

Visitors PSG also remain positive despite the loss, especially as group rivals Red Star Belgrade and Napoli shared a goalless draw in their tie.

Belgian full-back Thomas Meunier, who sparked the comeback with a fine finish before Mbappe levelled seven minutes from time, said: “We were too defensive in the second half. This wasn’t a catastrophe and we still control our own destiny in terms of qualification.”

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