Virgil van Dijk Buys Four Season Tickets at Former Club Groningen to Aid Club's Financial Struggles

Nischal Schwager-Patel
Liverpool FC's Virgil van Dijk.
Liverpool FC's Virgil van Dijk. / Visionhaus/Getty Images

Virgil van Dijk has bought four season tickets at Dutch side Groningen, in order to help his former club through their recent financial struggles.

The 28-year-old spent two years with the club, starting his senior career there before moving onto Celtic.

With the Eredivisie side set for financially challenging times - because of the loss of revenue caused by the global coronavirus pandemic - the Liverpool defender has decided to step in and offer help in a wonderfully unique way.

Announcing his decision on Twitter, van Dijk said: “I bought four season tickets for the coming season. I help FC Groningen with this in this difficult time. The season tickets are ultimately raffled among FC [Groningen] fans who cannot purchase one themselves!”

The club later took to their own Twitter account to thank their former player, simply responding with: “Big Virgil!”

Van Dijk isn’t the only player who has reached out to help his old club, with a handful of former Groningen stars coming together to offer their assistance by making a donation to the club’s youth fund charity.

Former Manchester United and Fulham forward Erik Nevland kicked it off, donating two season tickets. Atalanta defender Hans Hateboer followed suit by donating three tickets, becoming the third player to join in the initiative.

However, the most notable donator alongside van Dijk is Barcelona forward Luis Suárez, who pledged his help to Groningen earlier on Saturday. Suárez spent a season with the Dutch club after joining from Uruguayan side Nacional, scoring 15 goals in 37 appearances in the 2006/07 season.

Van Dijk joined Groningen as a youth player in 2010 from fellow Dutch side Willem II, before moving up to the senior setup the following year. The Dutch star made 66 appearances for the Green-White army, playing alongside future Eredivisie stars Dusan Tadić and Marco Bizot.

Virgil van Dijk playing for FC Groningen against ADO Den Haag.
Virgil van Dijk playing for FC Groningen against ADO Den Haag. / VI-Images/Getty Images

This season, Gronigen finished ninth in the Eredivisie, nine points off the European spots before the league was voided due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Van Dijk, meanwhile, has been key to Liverpool’s success this season, making 41 appearances in all competitions. The Reds sit top of the Premier League are just two wins away from securing the title - which they have romped towards in unstoppable fashion.

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