Liverpool star Van Dijk admits Jurgen Klopp 'triggered' him as pre-match antics explained


    Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has opened up on Jurgen Klopp’s intimating pre-match antics and has revealed they ‘triggered’ him when he played for Southampton. Klopp has become known to stand on the pitch during warm-ups before Liverpool games and is often caught staring at opposition players as they prepare for kick-off.

    It’s widely thought that the 55-year-old, who boasts a towering figure, completes the pre-match ritual to intimidate opposition players at the last possible opportunity. And it turns out that could very well be the case, for both rivals and his own players, even those as composed as Van Dijk.

    Speaking to Gary Neville on The Overlap, in partnership with Sky Bet, the Reds defender admitted seeing Klopp watching his warm-up as a rival player ‘triggered’ him. And he suggested the German coach’s intimidating antics are an indirect way to raise his side’s standards before kick-off.

    He said: “Listen, I think, for a fact, you’re going to have a good warm-up [while he’s watching]. You’re going to make sure every pass you make, you try to, you know… not that you sort of get the feeling that he might go in and say like, ‘listen, he had a bad warm-up, you have to get on him’.

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    “But I remember when I played my last game for Southampton, and we lost 3-0 at Anfield. He was also looking and it definitely, you know, triggered me a little bit. Yeah, definitely [I noticed it]. I think everyone [notices it].”

    Klopp’s intimidating aura has helped him to become one of Europe’s best managers and win every piece of silverware possible during his stint at Liverpool. But his personality and man management will also play a major role, and Van Dijk has also hailed him as a person and coach.

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    “But yeah, he’s a very warm person. Very passionate. I only have, you know, positive words about him. It’s not because he’s the boss, but I really enjoy working with him. And I’ve been very, very blessed that I’ve had a lot of good managers in my career so far. Some managers I’ve learned a lot from and he’s definitely one,” Van Dijk added.

    Klopp committed his future to Liverpool before the season, putting pen to paper on a contract until 2026. And while the Reds’ start to the current campaign indicates they may not extend their trophy haul together within the next year, Van Dijk will be confident of achieving even more success together down the line.



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