PSG forward Neymar offers glowing assessment of ‘strong and intelligent’ Liverpool star

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) winger Neymar has provided a glowing assessment of Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk. The Brazil international showered the Dutchman with praise, complimenting the defender’s strength and intelligence.

In an interview with DAZN Canada, Neymar was asked to describe what it’s like to play against Van Dijk. The former Barcelona forward said (via Liverpool Echo):

“Playing against Van Dijk is tough because as a centre-back, he’s so strong and intelligent. He knows when it’s the right time to close you down and when to go in for a tackle. That makes it harder. He’s intelligent. It’s harder to play against intelligent centre-backs. They don’t make mistakes.”

Van Dijk completed a permanent move to Anfield in January 2018 for £75 million, becoming Liverpool’s record transfer signing. The No.4 has certainly proven his worth at the Merseyside outfit, warranting such an exorbitant transfer fee.

Van Dijk set a new Premier League record by featuring in Liverpool’s 1-0 victory over West Ham United in March. The 31-year-old registered 60 appearances at Anfield by that point, without recording a single loss for the Reds. The Dutchman maintained a perfect-win record with 52 victories and eight draws.

Meanwhile, PSG have scored goals galore in a blistering start to the 2022-23 season. The Parisians have found the back of the net a whopping 24 times so far this term in only six Ligue 1 fixtures.

PSG are currently first in the standings and will next face Brest at the Parc des Princes tonight (September 10).

Xavi compares Liverpool target to PSG superstar

Barcelona head coach Xavi has compared Ousmane Dembele to PSG winger Neymar following the side’s 5-1 victory in their UEFA Champions League opener against Viktoria Pizen on September 8.

Speculation over Dembele’s future at Barcelona escalated this summer before he signed a contract extension with the Catalans. One of the teams reportedly linked with a move for the French international was Liverpool. However, the transfer failed to materialize before the transfer window shut.

Xavi lauded Dembele’s performance in Europe against Viktoria Pizen for bagging two assists for the Spanish outfit. The Spanish boss said (via HITC):

“He is happy, he provides assists, he makes a difference, he is a dagger on the wing and he is being decisive. I’ve seen few players with that ability in one-on-one situations. He is at the level of the best version of Neymar. He had suffered a lot in recent years and he deserves what he has now.”

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