Virgil van Dijk casts doubt on Liverpool future and hints at Netherlands retirement after Euro 2024 exit

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NETHERLANDS defender Virgil van Dijk has hinted at leaving Liverpool and retiring from international football after refusing to commit to club or country following his Euro 2024 heartache.

Dutch captain Van Dijk, 33, cut a distraught figure in Dortmund on Wednesday night after Oli Watkins’ 90th-minute winner sent England to Sunday’s final in Berlin.

Virgil van Dijk’s Netherlands were eliminated from Euro 2024 by EnglandGetty

Van Dijk may have played his final international game against England

After the match, the Liverpool centre-back fumed at referee Felix Zwayer for controversial decisions during the game – namely awarding England a penalty which Harry Kane scored.

It remains unclear whether 74-cap Van Dijk will continue with the national team as he prepares to enter his mid-30s.

But he has also cast doubt on his Liverpool future in the wake of Netherlands‘ Euros disappointment.

Van Dijk, whose Anfield contract expires in 2025, said: “I haven’t the slightest idea right now [about his future].

“I will think carefully this summer about what I want at club level and as an international player. Then we’ll go for it again, but first recover from this.

“After a season like this, where all kinds of things have happened, it gets emotional at the end because you know it’s over.

“Especially in the second half I had the feeling the outcome would fall our way. But [Ollie] Watkins was perhaps given a little too much space and he finished well.

“It hurts a lot that we conceded this goal so late in the match and are now empty-handed.

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England ratings vs Holland

ENGLAND stormed into the final against Spain thanks to Ollie Watkins’ last-minute strike in the 2-1 win over Holland.

It was a brilliant team performance, but how did each player rate?

SunSport’s Tom Barclay ran the rule over Southgate’s boys, and here’s how he rated them.

Jordan Pickford: 7

Bigger goalkeepers may have got a stronger hand to Xavi Simons’ early stunner – though that was being hypercritical. Solid stop to deny Virgil van Dijk after the hour.

Kyle Walker: 7

Looked re-energised after some lumbering displays and bombed on at times in the first half, despite his role on the right of a back three. Last-ditch tackle on Cody Gakpo was spot on.

John Stones: 7

Strong in possession. He looks to have benefited from regular game-time after rarely featuring for Manchester City in the last few months.

Marc Guehi: 6

Came back into the side after suspension ruled him out of the Switzerland game. Had an unenviable task of making the big man Wout Weghorst after the break.

Bukayo Saka: 7

Razor-sharp in the first half, winning tackles, making runs and dribbling the ball proficiently. Less of an impact after the break, had a goal ruled out for offside and was booked.

Declan Rice: 6

Lost possession for Simons’ thunderous opener but grew into the game, mopping up where necessary. Poor pass when Kane was open midway through the second half.

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Kobbie Mainoo: 8

Was England’s youngest-ever player to play in a major-tournament semi-final, aged 19years 82 days, and had a stormer in the first half. Great bursts forward, vital tackles, and his interplay with Foden was a joy.

Kieran Trippier: 6

We all know by now that he is playing out of position, so again he was limited going forward and reliable defensively. Subbed at half-time for the more natural Shaw.

Phil Foden: 7

The first 45 minutes was by far and away his best half of the tournament. Thought he’d scored when his shot was cleared off the line by Denzel Dumfries, and cracked the post with a cracker. But was then surprisingly subbed.

Jude Bellingham: 5

Back at the ground where he made his name but struggled to make much of an impact on his old stomping ground. Fortunate it was not he that was subbed.

Harry Kane: 6

Won and dispatched the penalty to go joint top-scorer in the tournament with three goals. Had looked more mobile initially but still tired badly after the break and was taken off.

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Luke Shaw (for Kieran Trippier, half-time): 6

Looked assured for a man who has been out for so long.

Ollie Watkins (for Harry Kane, 81): 9 and STAR MAN 

Surprisingly given the nod over Ivan Toney as striker sub as Southgate looked for more pace in behind. Brilliant finish into the corner to win the game – you could not ask more from him.

Cole Palmer (for Phil Foden, 81): 7

Had his big chance in the final minutes but shanked it horribly wide – but then fed Watkins for his wonderful winner.

Gareth Southgate: 8

His switch to a back three against Switzerland helped dig out the win there, and here it had his team finally playing some great football in the first half. The team went into their shells again as the game wore on and you feared the worst – but you have to say his decision to bring on Ollie Watkins was a masterstroke. 

“You put everything into it, everyone gives everything and if the goal comes like that in the last minute, that just sucks. Yes… sorry.”

Van Dijk joined Liverpool from Southampton in January 2018 for £75million, three years after making his Netherlands debut.

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He has racked up 270 appearances and 23 goals for the Reds.

His trophy haul on Merseyside stands at a Premier League title, FA Cup, two Carabao Cups, Champions League, Uefa Super Cup and Club World Cup.

Back in January, following the announcement that Jurgen Klopp was leaving Liverpool, fans linked Van Dijk with a Barcelona transfer.

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