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Van Dijk
Van Dijk
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Messi Leaves Van Dijk ‘Grateful’ He Doesn’t Play In Spain

Felix Egbomuche

Felix Egbomuche

Liverpool defender, Virgil van Dijk, is “grateful” he does not have to face Lionel Messi every season after the Barcelona star tore the Reds apart in their Champions League clash on Wednesday.

Former Reds striker, Luis Suarez, opened the scoring in the first half before Messi scored twice in the second half, including a stunning 30-yard free kick as Barcelona earned a 3-0 advantage in the first leg of the semi-final tie of Europe's elite competition.

That result leaves Jurgen Klopp's men needing a miracle at Anfield to progress to a second final in two seasons after last season's loss to Barcelona's rival, Real Madrid.

While Van Dijk believes there's still something for the Merseysiders to play for in the return leg, he admits there was not much he could do to stop the little Argentine magician.

The Dutchman, who was awarded the PFA Player of the Year award for being the finest Premier League performer this season, told reporters after the game at a packed Camp Nou he was happy he didn't have to face the five time Ballon d'Or winner.

“When you come up against Messi and he produces his best form you can't do anything.

“I'm grateful that I'm not in Spain and I don't have to face him every season.

“He scored two goals and I leave very disappointed. He won the battle but not the war.”

The 27-year-old and everyone in the Reds camp are still hopeful of a turnaround when the Catalans come visiting next Tuesday.

"Anything is possible in football. We definitely believe. That's how we are,” the defender told DAZN.

“We will never give up and we showed today that we can definitely create big chances against them, the only thing is we have to try and score them.”

Liverpool's next game before that though is against Newcastle on Saturday as they continue their push for an elusive Premier League title.