Virgil van Dijk has become the latest player to criticise the decision to schedule four UEFA Nations League fixtures immediately after a hectic club season, describing the move as ‘strange’.
Van Dijk’s Liverpool could not have played more games this campaign as they reached the finals of both domestic cups as well as the Champions League. Overall, the Dutchman made 51 appearances in all competitions and now faces the prospect of even more football with his country.
Van Dijk will be granted summer leave after the Netherlands’ Nations League opener against Belgium on Friday evening, but he backed up criticism of the hectic fixture load from Kevin De Bruyne – who recently dismissed the competition as a series of ‘glorified friendlies’.
“I’m going to give everything one more time,” he told the media. “But I do agree with what Kevin De Bruyne has said about these Nations League matches. I think it’s strange that there are still four international matches.
“There is more chance of injury now. Players should have a say in it, I think, but then again, we have nothing to say.”
After taking on rivals Belgium Louis van Gaal’s side face Wales away and Poland at home, before hosting the Red Dragons next Tuesday.