Virgil van Dijk is the new Netherlands national team captain, coach Ronald Koeman has confirmed.
The Liverpool centre-back became the most expensive defender in history when he joined from Koeman’s former club Southampton for £75million in January.
And the 26-year-old has now been announced as the successor to Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben, who retired from international football after Netherlands failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
“[It is] great news, for me and my family,” said Van Dijk, who will lead his country against England in Amsterdam on Friday.
“I am very happy with it, it is a great honour to be the captain of your country.”
Georginio Wijnaldum, Kevin Strootman and Daley Blind have been appointed by Koeman as deputies to Van Dijk.
“This is a nice step for him,” Koeman explained of Van Dijk becoming Netherlands captain.
— Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) March 19, 2018
“He has a good age and plays at a big club, he can take on this responsibility.”