It is still hard to fathom that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are now at the backend of their careers. The two star forwards may very well only have a few years left of playing football in Europe’s top five leagues before they each decide to either move on to another league or elect to call it a career.
For Liverpool center-back Virgil van Dijk, he is still in awe of the sheer dominance that both Messi and Ronaldo displayed during their prime days, which he spoke about to ESPN Argentina.
“They have been crazy if you think about it,” van Dijk said. “The amount of goals they’ve scored, you saw the other day that Ronaldo had the 700th career goal, that’s outstanding, outrageous.
“Messi, incredible. They have been the two faces of football a little bit of the last decade. Just respect for them and for me to play against these guys and to experience them in real life is definitely a pleasure. … It was also a nice thing to sit next to them in the UEFA ceremony award, it was a great experience.”
Overall, van Dijk has faced both Ronaldo and Messi multiple times in his career, and he could meet the Argentine forward later this season if Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain go on to square off in the UEFA Champions League knockout stage.