“We won it by a mile” – Virgil van Dijk savours title and “dream come true” at Anfield

Virgil van Dijk stood and relished a “dream come true” after Liverpool lifted the Premier League trophy at Anfield, vowing that “next season we will try and retain it.”

Van Dijk has been one of the most important players in the Reds’ rise to the top of English, European and world football, with his £75 million move in 2018 a game-changer.

The Dutchman wore the captain’s armband for the final home game of the season, a 5-3 win over Chelsea, but then handed it over to Jordan Henderson as he lifted the trophy.

An unforgettable moment for everyone involved, Van Dijk was clearly taken aback as he spoke to Sky Sports during the ceremony, describing it as “a dream come true.”

“To finally get our hands on the Premier League trophy is a dream come true for all of us,” he said.

“It’s been quite a long wait for everyone, Liverpool fans around the world, for us obviously.

“And it’s just a great feeling, fantastic feeling to say that I’m a Premier League champion, and the rest of the boys as well.”

The nature of the trophy lift was affected by the absence of supporters, and an empty Anfield served as a reminder of the ongoing pandemic, and how it left Liverpool to wait three months midway through their triumphant campaign.

“It was difficult, but it was difficult for all the teams,” Van Dijk said of the break.

“We’re human beings, we all have emotions going through our heads, feelings, we all knew that when we got back to playing we had to get six points and we would be champion.

“That’s going to be in your head, whether you like it or not. Obviously then Chelsea won against City, which made it a little bit easier.

“We played a couple of games which we obviously should have done better, but we shouldn’t focus on those things at the moment.

“We’ve had an outstanding season so far, we only lost twice, so no one can say anything about us.

“We’re all deserved champions, seven games before the end of the season, it’s never happened before.

“Everyone can have their opinion about [five] substitutes, water breaks, but we shouldn’t focus on that.

“We won it by a mile, well-deserved, and we will celebrate and next season we will try and retain it.”

Liverpool players celebrate with the Premier League trophy after the Premier League (Phil Noble/PA Wire/PA Images)

The centre-back paid tribute to the mentality of the squad, attributing that to their remarkable consistency throughout a season that saw them lose just twice, currently sitting on 96 points with a game to play.

“We always find a way to win, and during the whole season we had big results,” he continued.

Aston Villa away for example, Wolves away, those kinds of moments where we just dig deep, find a way and get the result that we needed

“It’s the mentality of the group of players that we have, the hard work that we put into training every day.

“This group of players is very special, on and off the pitch, everyone gets along with each other, on the pitch everyone is there to help each other and wants to fight for each other and give that extra yard for each other.

“That’s the minimum the Liverpool fans want to see from us and that’s what we want from ourselves and want to give too.”