Van Dijk will come up against Argentinian superstar Messi when their countries meet in Friday's World Cup quarter-final.
Messi, 35, has already scored three goals in Qatar including the opener in their 2-1 last-16 win over Australia.
"The difficult thing about him is when we are attacking, he is chilling somewhere in a corner or something," said Van Dijk.
"You have to be so very sharp in terms of defensive organisation. They always looked for him to try to make it difficult for us on the counter."
"It is an honour to play against him," he added. "It is not me against him, or the Netherlands against him, but the Netherlands against Argentina.
"No one can do it on his own, we will have to come up with a good plan."