Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk believes his days as a street footballer back in his Dutch homeland have been instrumental to his rise as European champion.
The Reds centre-back enjoyed a near-flawless season at Anfield, inspiring a miserly defensive set-up to 21 clean sheets in the Premier League last term.
Shipping just 22 goals across 38 games, Van Dijk’s Reds ended their 97-point campaign with the best defensive record in the top flight before going on to beat Tottenham 2-0 on June 1 to win the Champions League in Madrid .
Van Dijk ‘s performances across the season saw him become the first defender since John Terry in 2005 to win the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award .
Official statistics supplied by Opta also revealed that Van Dijk was not dribbled past throughout the entire campaign as the Netherlands captain honed his reputation further as one of the planet’s very best defenders.
In an interview with Unisport, Van Dijk placed his success down to developing his talents on the streets of Breda, where he grew up, and said that his fleeting time as an attacker also enabled him to think how a forward does in one-v-one situations.
He said: “I have had the benefit of a lot of one-v-ones by playing a lot on the streets.
“I played in a lot of five-a-side games when I was younger and I loved to attack in those days as well, so you got a bit of a feeling how attackers might think in certain situations.
“Obviously that comes with experience in my professional career too, ,上海品茶工作室Virginia,but I think if you want to progress as a defender or an attacker then just keep playing in the streets with your friends.”
Van Dijk also offered advice to hopefuls making their way in the game, urging potential stars to remain grounded and enjoy the success that follows.
“The best advice I’ve got is to stay humble, keep working hard and enjoy every bit of the way because before you know it, it is all going to be over and you do not want to have any regrets,” he added.
“That is the most important thing I would tell young players now because that is the most important thing that is staying in my mind.”
With back-to-back Champions League finals already during his 18 months at Anfield, Van Dijk is firmly established as one of the finest centre-halves around.
However, there is another string to his bow that the Oranje skipper wants to have going forward, as he pledged to add to his seven Liverpool goals next term.
“As a defender you always like to contribute with clean sheets, obviously that is the most important thing,” he said.
“But if you can contribute with a goal that is always a good thing.
“If you look at me personally, I am pretty tall and I should be dangerous on attacking corners and free-kicks and I am working on it.
“It is not always easy when you are marked by the strongest header of the opponents but I am trying my best and that is the only thing you can do.”
You can find Unisport’s official YouTube channel here .
Must-read Liverpool FC stories from the past 24 hours
The news that Rafa Benitez will leave Newcastle United is still less than a week-old but already dozens of names have been put forward to replace him.
The Spaniard will leave his role when his contract expires on June 30, and the United hierarchy are currently considering a host of names.
Coaches from across Europe have been put forward by their agents but the club, as has largely been their stance this summer, are remaining quiet on who will replace Benitez .
On this week’s Everything is Black and White Podcast , Lee Ryder and Chris Waugh join host Andrew Musgrove to discuss the news of Benitez’s departure, and the potential candidates in the running to replace him.
You can listen to the full podcast below.
Lee Ryder on Patrick Vieira and his appeal to younger players
Young players will look up to someone like Vieira because he was an unbelievable player – he won nearly everything he could.
Players will want to play for him. You go back to when Kevin Keegan was in charge the first time at Newcastle, the likes of Rob Lee, Alan Shearer and John Beresford all wanted to play for someone they regarded as a football hero.
Sometimes you have to keep the head coach or manager relevant to the young players, and Vieira certainly fits the bill.
He has expressed an interest before although it was still probably a bit too early for him then as he was still with the Man City youth team before heading to the MLS and now in France where he’s done a decent job and led Nice to seventh place.
But even when he was having conversations with Newcastle the ,上海品茶会所Dorian,first time, there were a couple of things in the plan that he didn’t quite like, so it depends on who he is working with.
He may want to bring in his own head scout, his own technical director, but Newcastle might not want to fit that into their structure.
Lee Ryder on how tough it will be to replace Rafa Benitez
You can’t underestimate how tough it will be to follow Rafa Benitez. Look when Kevin Keegan left in 1997, Kenny Dalglish came in and at the time people were genuinely delighted that he was coming in but even as one of the top, top managers in football, he couldn’t get it right at Newcastle.
Things are a bit different now for someone like Mikel Arteta coming in but if he didn’t have a good start – you only have to look at Frank de Boer at Crystal Palace, he was gone very quickly and Newcastle can’t afford a situation like that.
Lee Ryder on why Claudio Ranieri might be a short-term answer
Claudio Ranieri has been mentioned – look he had nightmare a Fulham, and obviously didn’t have the same impact as at Leicester but I look at someone like him and think he wouldn’t be the worst choice for Newcastle at the minute – especially if it’s a holding role.
If it’s a one-year contract, he brings a bit of experience, and I think he would bring a bit of a smile back to people’s faces again because he is genuinely a funny character.
Now, of course, you have to win football matches, it’s not just about telling jokes but when the morale in the camp is good – that leads to good results.
I think quietly speaking he would love to be asked about the job.
Chris Waugh on why he thinks Sean Dyche would ‘love the job’ at Newcastle
Someone who I think would love the job but would be very difficult to get him from his contract is Sean Dyche.
I know when the Everton job came up he was very keen on that. I think at Burnley he maybe sees that he’s taken them as far as he can and at some point, things will start to go downhill if they don’t invest a lot more money, and therefore this might be his best chance to get out of it.
As reported he has a £10 million release clause , are Newcastle going to pay that for their next manager? I’d be shocked, they’ve appeared reluctant to pay that for most players so I can’t see them doing it for a manager but I do think he’d be an interesting choice.
He’s worked under a modest budget and not necessarily having the final say so but I think it’s unlikely for the issue of getting him out of his contract although I do think he is someone who would want the job.
Alex Iwobi believes Manchester City can become just the fourth club in history to be crowned English champions for a third consecutive season after backing Pep Guardiola’s side to retain the Premier League again.
The Arsenal forward is currently away on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria, though thoughts of the new Premier League campaign are already surfacing with talk of who will win the title less than a month since the last season final ended.
The club season came to a close with Liverpool being crowned Champions League winners for the sixth time in their history at the start of June, having finished the Premier League season just a point behind City in a thrillingly close title chase.
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But Iwobi doesn’t believe that 2019/20 will be the year that Liverpool finally end their Premier League hoodoo, with the 23-year-old backing City to emulate Arsenal, Manchester United and the Reds in winning three consecutive English top flight titles.
Asked by Sky Sports if City are favourites again, Iwobi said: “Everyone thought that last season, but Liverpool give them a tough challenge as well.
“So, you never know what could happen. I’m sure every club’s going to invest and try and get their team right.
“Pre-season’s coming up really soon, so everyone’s trying to get ready for the season to start.
“It’s hard to say right now whether Man City are going to dominate, but they could be favourites, considering they won it again.”
Turning his attentions back to Arsenal, it’s clear what the objective is at the Emirates this season: to secure the top-four finish that they missed out on last season.
“Obviously we want to get back in to Champions League football,” he said. “We haven’t spoken about where our targets are for next season, but I’m sure he’d [Emery] want to improve.
“The whole team would want to improve on the previous season we had and try to get to that Champions League.
“And, if not, win as many competitions, including the Europa League as well.”
STRANGER Things returns to Netflix in July for an epic third series with the original cast returning once more to battle out-of-this-world baddies.
Attending the world premiere in Santa Monica, the teenage cast are all grown up after three years under the spotlight.
Stranger Things first aired in 2016 and the award-winning show was immediately met with critical acclaim.
The first series of Stranger Things focused on a group of four boys who faced their fears on a quest to find their close pal after he mysteriously vanished.
The teen stars of theNetflix hit -Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin,Noah Schnapp, Finn Wolfhard,Sadie Sink -appeared on Good Morning America earlier this week to discuss the next instalment, which airs on July 4.
The teenage cast have promised horror scenes “gorier” than anything previously seen before on the show.
Millie Bobby Brown / Eleven
The 15-year-old actress was in London, aged 12, when she received a call about theStranger Thingsaudition.
They didn’t give her much information about the show or abouth,上海品茶微信Elijah,er character- a telekinetic prisoner with an obsession with a snack called Eggos – until she got the role.
Since finding global success on Stranger Things, Millie has gone on to make her big screen debut in the Godzilla movie franchise.
Gaten Matarazzo / Dustin
16-year-old Gaten was one of the first actors to be cast in the sci-fi series, with show producers praising his “authentic” video audition.
Gaten portrays Dustin, a teen with a mature heart that is constantly trying to keep the band of friends together, even while facing off against extraterrestrial threats.
The actor recently teased the next series of the show, admitting: “It’s definitely gorier, which is pretty cool.
“If you don’t like gore stuff, I mean, watch it anyway. It’s not for the faint of heart, as some would say.”
Caleb McLaughlin / Lucas
17-year-old Caleb McLaughlin is the oldest of the core teen cast and was arguably the most experienced actor before landing the role of Lucas.
Caleb had previously starred on Broadway in Disney’s The Lion King, taking on the role of Simba. He had also appeared opposite Jennifer Lopez in US crime show, Shades of Blue.
The first series of Stranger Things saw Caleb’s character of Lucas initially be wary of befriending the mysterious Eleven.
Finn Wolfhard / Mike
Stranger Things opens with audiences seeing events unfold through the eyes of Mike Wheeler, a close friend of the recently vanished Will Byers.
It’s Will who first discovers Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and hides her in his family home, with the movie obsessed teenager soon developing romantic feelings for the young girl with psychokinetic abilities.
Finn’s agent has been hard at work since landing the Stranger Things gig, as he’s since starred in Stephen King’s IT movie and will reprise the role in this year’s highly-anticipated sequel.
16-year-old Finn is also going to be turning up in tw,上海品茶QQChloe,o 80s reboots, with roles in both The Addams Family, and Ghostbusters 2020.
Dozens of protestors have been demonstrating in Hull city centre to demand immediate action on climate change.
Extinction Rebellion, which was founded a year ago, has gathered a mass following across the UK since its formation, with protests in many cities up and down the country.
On Saturday the rebellion reached Hull, as protestors gathered in Queen Victoria Square outside to spread their message on the climate and ecological crisis.
Protestors came marching down Carr Lane waving flags bearing the rebellion logo and set up base at the foot of the statue in the square, handing out leaflets to passers-by and banging steel drums.
Francesca Dale, 26, of the Avenues, says that due to rising sea levels it was important to stage the rebellion in Hull.
She said: “Extinction Rebellion was founded last year by a group of scholars and they are backed by 97 per cent of academics and scientists.
“We refuse to be led silently into extinction.
“The planet is going to be unliveable in a couple of decades.
“We are talking about our children’s future here. In our group we have got a lot of parents who care about the future of their young kids.
“It is important to do this in Hull as it is one of the top five cities for flooding. I believe it is 1.5m under sea level. It is only going to get worse.
“There is an online map and as you go up the years it shows Hull is flooded by 2045.
“That means the end of Hull City, our football club, Hull KR, and the end of life as we know it.
“People can call it heresy so we are composing a list of resources who are reporting on this so everyone can do their own research.”
Extinction Rebellion is calling for the government to take immediate action on the crisis.
They have three demands:
The Government must tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens. The Government must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and reduce consumption of resources to below half of sustainable levels. A national Citizen’s Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fir for purpose.
Protestors will be holding events throughout the day, including a mass bike ride around the town and die-ins to represent life in an inhabitable planet.
Many people who joined the protest did so due to concerns for the future generation.
Jude Fox, 50, of Newland Avenue, brought along her six-year-old daughter to the demonstration.
She said: “We need to act now and tell the Government to tell the truth about climate change.
“That is why we are here, to make noise and make our voices heard.”
Dan, who did not wish to give his full name, said: “I want to try and protect the earth and to take action to try to ensure that there are proper measures taken to reduce carbon emissions.
“I want a system in place to protect the future of the planet, our kids and their kids and generations to come.”
Hull city centre news
Francesca hopes that Hull can “lead the way in becoming a green city” and was pleased with the turnout on what has been the ,上海品茶工作室Amelia,hottest day of the year so far.
She said: “It has gone so much better that expected. We have had such a good response and everyone agrees with what we are fighting for.
“When you look at the history of disobedience and what gives a movement legs it needs to be non-violent and we need to wake the public up.
“We can and will make miracles.”
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The monitoring of the London Bridge attack ringleader could have been “done differently”, the head of UK counterterror police has admitted.
Relatives of some of the eight victims killed accused security services of failing to prevent the plot, which they failed to spot despite having monitored Khuram Buttfor two years.
Authorities did not install barriers to prevent vehicle attacks on London Bridge, despite being warned it was a vulnerable target.
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But on Friday, the chief coroner of England and Wales found that potential missed opportunities could “not realistically have prevented the attack”.
Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Neil Basu, the head of UK counterterror policing, said there had been a thorough and “at times painful” examination of the pre-attack investigation.
“With regards to the investigation itself, and with the benefit of hindsight, we know certain things could have been done differently,” he added.
“Even after we carried out an intensive post-attack investigation,no evidence of long-term, calculated planning could be found. Even those closest to the attackers, and we have heard from them during the inquest, knew nothing of their murderous plans.”
Mr Basu said police and MI5 had already made improvements, following internal reviews of the way intelligence on the attackers were handled, and would take the coroner’s findings on board.
“The ultimate responsibility for the murder of those eight men and women lies solely with these three criminals,” he added.
“Officers have foiled 19 murderous plots since March 2017 – but despite their heroic efforts, it will never be possible to stop every plot.”
A lawyer representing relatives of six victims had told the inquests they were “baffled” at how investigators missed the fact that Butt and the other attackers were training together at a gym owned by a high-profile terror suspect.
Sajeel Shahid, a former member of Anjem Choudary’s al-Muhajiroun (ALM) Islamist network, was previously accused of running terror training camps in Pakistan.
He also owned an Islamic primary school where Butt taught children Quran classes but police never traced the school and did not view the gym as a “significant” location.
David Videcette, a former counterterror police officer who investigated the 21/7 bomb plot and a terror cell linked to Shahid in the early 2000s, said he was “gobsmacked” that the connection was missed.
“That’s a huge failure,” he told The Independent. “It feels like [Scotland Yard] have gone back 10 years and forgotten what we knew.”
Despite ALM being banned under numerous aliases for the past 13 years, The Independent revealed that no one has ever been prosecuted for membership despite 600 current and former associates being identified by police.
The father of French victim Alexandre Pigeard, 26, said the coroner had been “soft” on security services.
“Butt was really known – he had relations with Choudary, with ALM for years and there were many mis,上海品茶微信Arielle,sed opportunities,” Phillipe Pigeard told BBC Radio 4 on Saturday.
“If you add the fact that Butt was known as a very dangerous person, to the fact that despite the Westminster attack there were no barriers on London Bridge.
“I think if barriers had been on the bridge the attack would not have happened. Nobody hires and weighs down a van just to stab people.”
Christine Delcros, who was hit by the terrorists’ van as her boyfriend Xavier Thomas, was killed next to her highlighted a “catalogue of failings”, adding: “I believe this attack was preventable.”
“I find it staggering that Butt, a well-known extremist was allowed to work within the London transport network, to have access to and teach young children, and to rent and use a vehicle in a manner now too often encountered,” she said.
Parents of Canadian Chrissy Archibald, who was also killed on the bridge, said they hoped the coroner would recommend tougher measures to stop dangerous extremists from hiring powerful vehicles in the future.
Helen Boniface, a lawyer who represented six of the families, said: ”The cumulative weight of intelligence known to MI5 and the police prior to the attack concerns the families that we represent.
“Despite the coroner’s conclusion to the contrary, the families do believe there were many lost investigative opportunities that could have identified the planning of this attack.”
The chief coroner, Mark Lucraft QC, will consider drawing up a prevention of future deaths report following upcoming inquests into the deaths of the three attackers, who were shot dead by armed police on 3 June 2017.
His conclusions for the victims’ deaths described the pre-attack investigations of MI5 and SO15 were “generally thorough and rigorous”, adding: “I am not persuaded that investigative opportunities were lost which could realistically have saved the lives of those who died.”
Judge Lucraft said there were “weaknesses” in the consideration of vehicle barriers on London Bridge, but to argue they would have prevented the knife attack in Borough “involves too much inherent speculation”.
The home secretary said security services would “reflect on our practices and ensure we are best placed to counter the terrorist threat”.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the professionalism and tireless dedication of our intelligence and security agencies and counterterrorism police – who often have to make difficult decisions in extremely complex circumstances,” Sajid Javid added.