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Dutch legend Ruud Gullit slams Virgil van Dijk's leadership qualities

Published at :June 27, 2023 at 10:12 PM
Modified at :June 27, 2023 at 10:12 PM
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Rajarshi Shukla

The Netherlands finished fourth in the UEFA Nations League

Ruud Gullit criticised the underwhelming Netherlands skipper, labelling Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk as having "no leadership skills".

The Netherlands' 2023 UEFA Nations League campaign came to a terrible conclusion with consecutive losses to Croatia and Italy, leaving them in fourth place overall.

Ronald Koeman, the returning head coach, has already lost three of his first four games in charge, and Gullit believes that he has been let down by purported on-field leaders like Van Dijk, who currently wears the armband, and Barcelona player Frenkie de Jong.

Dutch legend Gullit stated in De Telegraaf: "Despite the fact that they are idolised by some people in the Netherlands, often to loud applause, I find that these two important players do not measure up when necessary.

They do not reach the level that can be required of them as decisive international leaders. I think Van Dijk and De Jong don't have leadership skills,"

“I think Van Dijk and De Jong don't have leadership skills. Actually, I'm asking them for something they don't have. They need more attention to their own game.

It's difficult for a coach to work without leaders on the pitch and it's supposed to be that Van Dijk and De Jong should be those leaders.”

Virgil van Dijk's leadership has come under scrutiny before; Marco van Basten labelled him "arrogant" and charged that the Liverpool star caused "chaos" after a 4-0 loss to France in March.

On the heels of leading the Netherlands to the 2022 World Cup quarterfinals, Van Dijk, who is currently 31 years old, will be hoping that ignition can be found under his guidance when the Netherlands return to the field in Euro 2024 qualifying.