Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk admits he may have to adapt his laid-back style of play ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid.
Van Dijk, 26, has brought calmness and composure to Liverpool’s defence since joining the club for £75m from Southampton in January.
However, the world’s most expensive defender says his laid-back style almost cost his side during their quarter-final second leg against Manchester City, when his early mistake allowed Gabriel Jesus to open the scoring inside two minutes.
The Netherlands international insists he has learned from that mistake and vowed to not make a similar error when Jurgen Klopp’s side take on Real Madrid in Kiev on Saturday.
“To be calm, that is sometimes a very good thing to have, but personally sometimes I have to learn, too,” he said.
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“Against Manchester City in the away game I was a little bit too calm in the beginning for example. That is something I have to learn as well.
“The most important thing is we as players have to enjoy every bit of this. When the whistle goes that is a different story, but when we arrive in Kiev, when we see all the Liverpool fans, when we go on the pitch for the warm-up, we have to enjoy it and make yourself ready.
“Other players maybe need to be tense, for myself I like to look around, embrace it and then when we are in the tunnel – full focus.”
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Van Dijk will have the task of stopping Cristiano Ronaldo scoring in a fourth Champions League final, but the defender says he signed up to play in such pressure situations when he agreed to join Liverpool.
“People are trying to put pressure on me?” he said, laughing.
“Any player who arrived at this club they want to play in these games, they want to be under this kind of pressure, they want to get trophies. That is basically the situation.
“I don’t think I have been bought to win the Champions League final. I have been bought to hopefully get the best out of myself and the best out of the team with the help of everyone else.
“To be in the final right now – it has been a crazy journey. We are there, 90 minutes from the trophy and now we need to give everything we have.”