Skip to content
The Liverpool defender got the better of Kane in Madrid last weekend.
The Liverpool defender got the better of Kane in Madrid last weekend.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

Van Dijk: Kane's fitness held him back in Champions League final

The pair could meet again when England face Netherlands in the Nations League tomorrow.
Jun 5th 2019, 10:37 PM 11,009 19

VIRGIL VAN DIJK believes Harry Kane’s lack of match fitness hindered him mentally during Liverpool’s 2-0 Champions League final win over Tottenham.

Centre-back Van Dijk crowned a brilliant individual season by being named man of the match at the Wanda Metropolitano, where Kane was largely ineffective on his first appearance for almost two months following an ankle injury.

The pair could face off once again on Thursday, when the Netherlands take on England in their Nations League Finals semi-final in Guimaraes.

“Harry Kane is a fantastic striker, I think one of the best in England. And I think he’s definitely the best striker England have for the national team,” Van Dijk told a pre-match news conference.

“But I also know that if you’re not 100 per cent fit, then it’s going to be in your head if you get a little knock or you pass and you get a little bit of pain.

“It’s going to be in your head, so obviously I expected him to play the final, but I knew he was not going to be 100 per cent.

“I don’t know if he’s playing tomorrow, but if he is, then we’ll see how we’re going to manage.”

Netherlands squad walkaround and press conference - Estadio D. Afonso Henriques Van Dijk speaking at today's press conference. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Speaking later on at his own briefing, England manager Gareth Southgate was not about to give an extensive public take on Kane’s Champions League final showing.

“I don’t think it’s for me to comment on club performances in individual games because that then leads me into talking about other coaches and other players and they’re not my team,” he said.

What are they
really like?

Rare insights on sport's biggest names from the writers who know them best. Listen to Behind the Lines podcast.

Become a Member

“Of course I was at the game and wanted to see how it played out. A lot of the service that went into Harry, he wasn’t favourite when it was arriving in his area.”

The winner of the match between England and the Netherlands will face Portugal in the final, after Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick saw his side past Switzerland 3-1 on Wednesday.

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

Send a tip to the author

The42 Team


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a comment

    cancel reply
    Back to top