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Liverpool ​defender Van Dijk values Klopp criticism

Liverpool star Virgil Van Dijk is happy when his manager is critical of his performances.

Van Dijk is one of the top performers for the Reds, with his arrival from Southampton shoring up their back line and turning them into one of the top teams in Europe.

But that does not mean he gets an easy ride from his boss.

In fact, Van Dijk admits that Klopp sometimes downplays the praise that Van Dijk gets from pundits and others in the sport.

He told reporters: "I have a very similar connection with Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool as I had earlier with Ronald Koeman at Southampton and I still have with Koeman with the national team.

"Like Koeman, Klopp knows ­exactly how to get the best out of me – by being critical. When the media are hyping me and being very positive, he will downplay the praise all that – often with a wink.

"When I was voted UEFA Player of the Year recently and had to go to the awards ceremony, Jurgen told all the lads at Liverpool that I was picking up the trophy on ­behalf of the entire team.

"All the boys in the squad know I can take that sort of stuff very well.

"I know what he means. At the same time, the boss gives me a lot of respect and responsibility."

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Ansser Sadiq

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