Watch Virgil Van Dijk 'beg for help from Andy Robertson' in dealing with Messi against BarcelonaMay 2, 2019
VIRGIL VAN DIJK appeared to send out a desperate plea for help from his team-mates to stop Lionel Messi at the Nou Camp.
The Liverpool centre-back, 27, was caught beckoning his fellow defenders to come across in order to try and keep the Argentine quiet.
The outlandish claims were made by Twitter users as they shared a clip of Van Dijk marshalling the Barcelona star away from danger during the first half of the Champions League clash at the Nou Camp.
One wrote: "Van Dijk was so scared of Messi, he started asking for help."
And a Manchester United-supporting account captioned the same video: "At least Smalling said "Bring it on" with his chest. Your favourite CB is screaming for assistance."
The parody user then added a photoshopped image of Virgil van Dijk with the PFA Player of the Year and Team of the Year trophies he picked up on Sunday – but replaced Van Dijk with Chris Smalling.
Of course, in reality, Van Dijk was simply trying to sort out his defence.
With Messi heading towards the Barcelona right corner, Van Dijk was worried about being dragged out of position.
He therefore wanted left-back Andrew Robertson to take over Messi-marking duties so he could return to the middle.
SunSport's European expert Lothar Matthaus highlighted the battle between Van Dijk and Messi ahead of the mammoth clash at the Nou Camp.
If Van Dijk has to face Messi, with his movement, dribbling and control, it will be so difficult to stop him.
He said: "When Messi gets the chance to go one against one he is very difficult to stop on his own.
"For Van Dijk, who is so tall, it will not be easy against a player of Messi’s stature.
"Liverpool will not want to see that match-up because it means things are going wrong.
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"Messi starts in a half-right position. So Andy Robertson must get as close as he can and the midfield has to try and crowd Messi out. That should allow Van Dijk to concentrate on Luis Suarez.
"If Van Dijk has to face Messi, with his movement, dribbling and control, it will be so difficult to stop him. When Messi has the ball centrally, with time, he has so many options to hurt you."
Barcelona took a first-half lead when former Reds frontman Luis Suarez latched on to Jordi Alba's wicked ball in.
And ex-defender Rio Ferdinand blamed £75million defender Van Dijk – and did not hold back in his criticism.
The BT Sport pundit blasted: "Virgil van Dijk is at fault, he can see Suarez who is pointing where he wants it.
"It’s not rocket science. That’s your man with the no9 on the back of his shirt. Static.
"Van Dijk is static and that is criminal. He has got to be Matip’s eyes and ears. He’ll be disappointed with that."
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