Virgil van Dijk reveals Liverpool’s plans to stop Lionel Messi

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Liverpool defender, Virgil van Dijk admits Liverpool will have to be at their best to stop Lionel Messi in the Champions League semi-finals.

The Reds will face Barcelona in the last four after seeing off Porto in the second leg of their quarter-final tie on Wednesday night.

Messi scored twice in Barca’s 3-0 victory over Manchester United earlier this week and Liverpool will have to be at their best to stop him.

Jurgen Klopp insisted his focus was on Sunday’s trip to Cardiff when asked about facing Messi following the win.

But Van Dijk delved a little deeper when posed with the same question.

I don’t know, we’ll see. It’s going to be a great match-up for all of us,” he told Viasport Fotball.

“It’s about doing it all together, it’s never 1vs1, it’s never just me against a particular striker.

“It’s always us against everyone and I think that’s the only way we can defend well.

“And it’s going to be very hard and I think he’s the best player in the world but we’ll see.”

The Reds will come up against former Anfield favourites Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho for the first time in the last four clash.

Coutinho left Liverpool for Barca last January while Suarez moved to the Nou Camp in the summer of 2014.

“For these two boys, it is very special, because they are Liverpool legends,” the Reds boss said.

“But I don’t think it will be a friendly game, we have to fight and work and they will do that as well.

“It is a wonderful game, Liverpool vs Barcelona in the semi-finals. Now let’s try to do the best there and we will see what happens.”

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