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Van Dijk scares opponents and lifts Liverpool's confidence - Alisson

09:36 IST 18/06/2019
Alisson Van Dijk Liverpool 2018-19
The Brazil international praised "the giant" as a source of inspiration for his team-mates after a stellar season with the Reds

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson says Virgil van Dijk is "the big man" at Anfield and says the defender's presence on the pitch strikes fear into the hearts of their opponents.

The Dutch centre-back was named the PFA Player of the Year after another impressive season in the Premier League in which he played every game for Jurgen Klopp's side as they finished second in the English top-flight, just one point behind Manchester City.

Van Dijk was a pivotal part of the club's European campaign, and was named UEFA's Man of the Match in the 2-0 Champions League final victory over Tottenham.

And Alisson hailed the 27-year-old's influence, saying he both lifts his own team and frightens the opposition.

“He gives a lot of confidence for the team and the players,” Alisson told Liverpool's website.

“When you have Virgil van Dijk – the giant – on the pitch, maybe it scares the opposition. For me, he is special. 

“I have great defenders [in front of me] – Joel [Matip], Joe Gomez, Dejan [Lovren]. Everyone did a great job this season. But Virgil has something special, he is the big man.”

Alisson, 26, joined Liverpool from Roma last summer and quickly established himself as one of the most reliable shot stoppers in the Premier League, keeping 21 clean sheets in 38 games as they suffered just one defeat in the competition.

“Everything has been good. It was a great season with great moments," he added.

“The club is top, my expectations about the club happened. I’m happy to be here with top staff, top players and top supporters. I’m very excited every day to come and work hard, to play the games, to enter the pitch and do my best for my teammates, the supporters and my family, and to try to achieve something big for this club.

“It’s not too different from the football I played in Italy and Brazil. I play for the national team so you play against every kind of player. To come here to the Premier League, for me, it was one step up for me in my career. 

“I just focus in every game and every day. I work a lot to do my best and try to not feel the change that a change of city and country brings to you. I’m very happy.”