Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk admits that he will never forget the atmosphere from Celtic Park on a European night.
The Champions League winner was reflecting back on his time at Celtic for a new Goal documentary titled ‘Virgil van Dijk: A Liverpool legend in the making’. Goal journalist Neil Jones tweeted the short clip of Van Dijk looking back on his Celtic days, with the help of contributions from Scott Brown and Neil Lennon.
— Neil Jones (@neiljonesgoal) November 12, 2019
Following on from the kind words of his former captain and manager, the Dutchman chose to pick out a game from his time at the club that he remembered more fondly than most.
Van Dijk said: “Thinking back now, in the game we played against Ajax in the Champions League in my first year, the atmosphere was outstanding.
“We won, I think, 2-1.
“The atmosphere is something you never forget. It gives you that extra lift. It was very special.”
Van Dijk didn’t sample too many big Celtic Park atmospheres
The big defender’s choice may be a little surprising for many Celtic fans at first. Then you remember that he didn’t actually play in too many huge clashes in his time at the club.
Van Dijk played for Celtic at a time when there were no league Glasgow derby matches. He only featured in one game against Rangers, and must’ve wondered what all the fuss was about, as we brushed the lower-division Gers aside 2-0 at Hampden.
He also only featured in one Champions League campaign – and a pretty disappointing one at that. We finished dead last in Group H in season 2013/2014 with the win over Ajax accounting for our total points haul from six matches.
Given that was Van Dijk’s only Champions League group stage win for the club, and it came against the champions of his native land, it’s perhaps not a surprising choice at all.