Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne both possess a cast-iron winning mentality, according to Ian Wright.
The former Arsenal striker claims that the fact you rarely see either player smiling on the football pitch provides a key insight into their determination to win every match they play:
“They are unbelievable players And they are unbelievably driven players. They never stop pushing the team on at any stage of the game. You look at Kevin de Bruyne, he is very serious in the game all the time. You don’t really see him smiling too much. The same with Van Dijk because we are talking about two leaders, who know they can’t afford to lose a game. That’s why you need players like them because they aren’t going to let you rest.”
To be fair to both van Dijk and De Bruyne, they are rarely involved in matches where the pressure is off them. Liverpool and City have pushed each other so hard in recent years that every fixture is seen as a must-win game.
Off the pitch, van Dijk, in particular, is known for being a laidback character, who regularly jokes with his teammates, but he is definitely a different animal when playing for the Reds. The Dutch defender is purely focused on his job and getting the three points.
Van Dijk’s drive, ambition and ability have played a large part in helping Jurgen Klopp’s side win every major trophy since his arrival back in January 2018.