Liverpool defender Van Dijk withdraws from Netherlands squad


The Oranje skipper will play no part in Tuesday’s final Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia at the Johan Cruijff ArenA

Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk has withdrawn from the squad for Tuesday’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia for personal reasons.

The 28-year-old Liverpool defender played the full 90 minutes against Northern Ireland on Friday as the Oranje secured their place at next summer’s tournament, their first major finals since 2014, courtesy of a goalless draw in Belfast.

However, he will play no part when the Netherlands wrap up their qualifying campaign in Amsterdam on Tuesday.

“National team coach Ronald Koeman cannot call on VirgiI van Dijk on Tuesday against Estonia,” read a Netherlands statement.

“The captain of the Dutch national team has to miss the game due to personal circumstances and has since left the Oranje training camp.”

The Netherlands were far from their fluid best in Belfast and were fortunate to go in at half-time with the game still goalless when Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis blasted a penalty over the crossbar.

The visitors improved in the second half and enjoyed the bulk of the possession, but struggled to create many clear-cut chances.

Koeman admitted his side could have played better but stressed getting the point they needed to secure qualification was the most important thing, admitting he was playing for the draw in the closing stages.

“I am happy and proud of the team,” he told Dutch broadcadter NOS. “In the end they only had two moments. I think we should have done more offensively, but we have reached the point that was needed for qualification and that has been the most important thing.

“In the last few minutes I really opted for the 0-0, so I also brought on an extra defender with (Nathan) Ake.

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“As a team, we always want more and to be better, but we have achieved a great result by qualifying for the European Championship. And that in a group with a great opponent like Germany and a tough opponent like Northern Ireland. I also just want to say that it has been fantastic”

With no mention of any injury, Liverpool will hope Van Dijk will be fit and available for the Reds’ trip to Crystal Palace when the Premier League resumes on November 24.

The former Southampton defender has been an ever-present in the Premier League for the Merseysiders this season, helping Jurgen Klopp’s side build up an eight-point lead at the top of the table.


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