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'Me failing as a captain?' - Van Dijk issues response after being torn apart by Netherlands legend Van Basten for Ecuador performance

13:12 EAT 26/11/2022
Virgil van Dijk Netherlands
Netherlands captain Virgil Van Dijk has responded to the criticism thrown his way by Marco van Basten in the wake of the 1-1 draw against Ecuador.
  • Netherlands poor in 1-1 draw
  • Van Dijk blamed for Ecuador equaliser
  • Dutch captain bites back at Van Basten

WHAT HAPPENED? Van Dijk, who started at centre-back for the Dutch at the Khalifa International Stadium on Friday, was accused by Netherlands legend Van Basten of ball watching in the lead-up to Ecuador's equaliser, scored by Enner Valencia. Speaking to Dutch outlet NOS shortly after the game, the former Ajax and AC Milan striker said: "Van Dijk is just waiting and watching him [Estupinian] shoot. What is he looking at? He needs to be on top of him! He just lets him shoot!"

WHAT THEY SAID: In his post-match interview, Van Dijk was asked about the comments. He said: "I don't think he is ever positive, so what am I supposed to do with it? It's easy to talk from the studio. Me failing as a captain? What do you want me to do with that info? I am always up front. I lead the team the best way possible."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: It is not the first time that Van Basten has been critical of the Netherlands captain in the Dutch media. He also questioned the Liverpool defender after the wins against Poland and Belgium in the Nations League back in September.

IN A PHOTO:

WHAT NEXT FOR THE NETHERLANDS? Oranje, who are now level on points and goal difference with Ecuador at the top of Group A, take on already eliminated Qatar on Tuesday at the Al Bayt Stadium in their final group game as they look to progress to the round of 16.