UEFA Nations League News: Virgil van Dijk talks about the prospect of facing Cristiano Ronaldo in the final

Portugal v Switzerland - UEFA Nations League Semi-Final
Portugal v Switzerland - UEFA Nations League Semi-Final

What's the story?

Ahead of their UEFA Nations League final clash against Portugal on Sunday, Netherlands international Virgil van Dijk has opened up about the prospect of facing Cristiano Ronaldo.

In case you didn’t know…

Netherlands came from behind to set a date with Portugal in the final of the inaugural UEFA Nations League after beating England 3-1 in the semi-finals. The Three Lions took the lead in the first half, courtesy of Marcus Rashford's penalty. However, Matthijs de Ligt’s powerful header in the 73rd minute pushed the semi-final into extra time. The Netherlands capitalized on two defensive howlers from England in extra time to win the contest 3-1.

Van Dijk and the Netherlands will now have the tough task of stopping Ronaldo, who single-handedly demolished Switzerland in the other semi-final on Wednesday night. The 34-year-old Portuguese bagged the 53rd hat-trick of his professional career to help his country reach the Nations League final.

The heart of the matter

When asked about the prospect of facing Ronaldo in the final, Van Dijk seemed more concerned about Portugal’s teamplay rather than the Juventus ace.

“We'll see. It's not only Cristiano Ronaldo we're going to face, we face a great Portugal. We will see what's going to happen.
"I'm looking forward to playing this final with this team, and we're going to give everything that we can to hopefully hold that trophy in the end and do everyone proud." 

The Liverpool star defender also shared his opinion about the upcoming Portuguese starlet Joao Felix.

"I watch football as well, I've seen the Europa League. Everyone has seen him. He's a big talent for them.
“He has a bright future in front of him if he stays humble and keeps working hard and hopefully we can shut them down.”

What’s next?

Netherlands will face Portugal in the final of UEFA Nations League on the 9th of June at the Estadio do Dragao.

Edited by Samya Majumdar

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