The 32-year-old Dutchman was given the captain’s armband earlier this year, following the departures of Jordan Henderson, who joined Saudi Pro League side Al-Ettifaq, and James Milner, who signed for Brighton.
Reflecting on his appointment, Van Dijk expressed his gratitude, stating, “This club has had some incredible captains over the years, leaders who consistently brought out the best in themselves and their team. To be on the list with individuals like that is something I never expected when I first started playing.”
However, the central defender emphasized that what truly matters to him is being part of a team of leaders who individually take responsibility, regardless of who wears the captain’s armband.
Van Dijk then revealed the new rule he implemented as captain—a pre-match team huddle on the pitch. Prior to every game, all Liverpool players gather together in a huddle, creating a sense of unity and enhancing the atmosphere among the squad and the crowd.
In an interview with The Echo, Van Dijk explained, “We used to do it when I played for Celtic, and I always liked it because it set the tone for the game and signaled to the crowd that we were ready to go. It can also contribute to the atmosphere, especially when it’s so close to the start of the match. If our fans want to join in by building up the noise and adding to the sense of anticipation, I certainly won’t complain, even if it makes it difficult for me to make myself heard.”
Liverpool has made a promising start to the current season, aiming to bounce back from a disappointing 2022-23 campaign. The team currently sits fourth in the Premier League table, just three points behind the leaders, Tottenham Hotspur.
As Van Dijk continues to lead the team on and off the pitch, his implementation of the pre-match huddle serves as a symbol of unity and readiness, setting the stage for Liverpool’s performances and engaging the enthusiastic support of the fans.