Virgil van Dijk Reveals How Jürgen Klopp Convinced Him to Snub Chelsea & Man City

Jurgen Klopp, Virgil Van Dijk
Jurgen Klopp helped convince Virgil van Dijk to join Liverpool in 2018 | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk has revealed how the chance to work with Jürgen Klopp was a deciding factor when he left Southampton to join the Reds in 2018.

At that time, Van Dijk had established himself as one of the Premier League's top defenders, but he found himself playing in what was then a poor Southampton side, which left many of the Premier League's elite confident of striking a deal.

Virgil van Dijk
Van Dijk had the option to join Chelsea or Man City but opted for Liverpool | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

It was Liverpool who won the £75m race for his signature, and Van Dijk confessed (via The Mirror) that Klopp's influence was simply too strong to turn down.

"I had the chance to go to Chelsea and Man City," he explained. “When you compare the clubs, you look at the history, the town, the current squad, their plans for the near future.

“But the most important thing you look at is the manager – and Jürgen Klopp is an important reason why I chose for Liverpool. Klopp has something special. Is it his energy? Is it his overall image? I sometimes sit and think about what he does and what he has more than others. I think it is his man-management. These days that is more important than anything in football.

Jurgen Klopp, Virgil van Dijk
Klopp & Van Dijk have turned Liverpool into Premier League champions | Pool/Getty Images

“Klopp gives you this great feeling. He is genuinely happy when you walk into the club in the morning.
It may sound daft, but that really inspires you as a player."

Under Klopp, Liverpool have transformed into one of the world's finest teams, winning the Champions League and Premier League in the last two years, and Van Dijk revealed how Klopp's training methods are behind their success.

“All the stories about his (Klopp’s) training, the way he has made us so much fitter are true," he continued. “I call it the German style - running, running and running. And when you think you are done, more running.

Jürgen Klopp
Klopp's training methods are famously intense | Visionhaus/Getty Images

“Never in my life I have had to train so hard. I remember the three training sessions a day in France. No media, no fans, just us on our own.

“And on top of all that physical hard work, we were getting drilled in meetings, with tactical talks. Those went on and on. When I finally got home, I was totally kaput. But I have to admit, I have seen the benefit of it all throughout the season.”

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