LIVERPOOL

Van Dijk: "Messi, the toughest opponent I've faced, Agüero the hardest to mark"

Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Manchester City forward Sergio Agüero gained praise from Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk.

Van Dijk: Messi my toughest opponent, Aguero hardest to mark

Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk is in no doubt that Barcelona's Lionel Messi is the toughest opponent has faced so far during his career. Van Dijk and Messi went head-to-head last season, when Liverpool produced an incredible second-leg comeback to beat Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals.

The Netherlands international paid tribute to Messi, a record six-time Ballon d'Or winner who for many, is one of the greatest players of all-time if not the greatest.

Van Dijk's Messi headache

"There are some difficult strikers out there, but probably Leo Messi," Van Dijk wrote on Twitter when asked who his toughest opponent was.

However, the Reds defender also credited Sergio Agüero, having faced the Manchester City forward regularly in recent seasons. Asked who the hardest player to mark was, the defender replied: "Agüero."

Van Dijk said he was "feeling fine" and would be ready to go when the Premier League season, which is suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, resumes. Liverpool held a 25-point lead atop the table when the season was stopped.