Virgil van Dijk Says Liverpool Should 'Enjoy' Title Race and 'Have No Regrets'

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2019

MUNICH, GERMANY - MARCH 13: Virgil Van Dijk of FC Liverpool celebrates after winning the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Liverpool at Allianz Arena on March 13, 2019 in Munich, Bavaria. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)
Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has urged his team-mates to "enjoy" the Premier League title race, despite the pressure they're under. 

The Reds are in contention to win their first league title since 1990, and Van Dijk wants Liverpool to give everything they've got to achieve it.

He spoke to Premier League Productions (h/t Liverpool's official website) about being in this position:

"It's definitely what I wanted. You hope to be in this kind of position—challenging for the Premier League title, being as far as we are in the Champions League now and reaching the final last season.

"I think the ultimate thing would be winning something with Liverpool, and we still have any chance to win it. So let's just go for it."

"The most important thing is to enjoy it. We have to give it our all and make sure we have no regrets at the end of it."

Liverpool are two points clear of Manchester City in the Premier League, though the former have seven matches left to play and the latter eight.

In their last two league outings, the Reds had to come from behind to beat Burnley 4-2 and find a winner in a 2-1 victory over Fulham after former Liverpool player Ryan Babel grabbed a second-half equaliser for the Cottagers.

Former Reds forward Dirk Kuyt has been impressed with their resilience:

Goal @goal

Former Liverpool star Dirk Kuyt is impressed how the Reds are handling the pressure of a close title race 💪 Can they keep it up? 🤔 https://t.co/lzyGV7gQXn

Liverpool have come a long way since manager Jurgen Klopp took charge, as Reds writer Scott Groom observed:

Scott Groom @ScottCGroom

Since Jürgen Klopp took over, he's led Liverpool to: • A League Cup final • A Europa League final • A Champions League final • Consecutive top four finishes • Most sustained title challenge for years • A total squad overhaul • Completely new style of play #LFC

Van Dijk has played a key role in their efforts since his arrival from Southampton in January last year.

Though he must also share credit with goalkeeper Alisson, who arrived last summer, the centre-back has had a transformative effect on Liverpool's defence.

The Dutchman has started every Premier League match this season, and Liverpool have shipped just 18 goals and lost only once.

Reds legend Jamie Carragher thinks he could be the first defender to be named PFA Player of the Year since John Terry in 2005:

Goal @goal

Is Virgil van Dijk the best centre-half in Europe right now? @Carra23 says he'll be surprised if @VirgilvDijk doesn't win PFA Player of the Year! https://t.co/ClRtIqZttM

He'll face some stiff competition from the likes of City star Raheem Sterling, and voting usually does sway in favour of attacking players.

That said, Van Dijk has arguably had a much more profound impact on his team than Sterling—as good as the Englishman has been, City have the depth to win most matches without him—so it would not be a surprise if it did go to the centre-back.

He'll be much more concerned with the silverware available to the team, though, and if he remains fit during the run-in Liverpool have a good chance in the title race.