Regarded as one of the greatest defenders of this generation, Virgil van Dijk on Tuesday revealed that Lionel Messi is the most difficult striker and the toughest opponent he has played against.

The duo were pitted against each other in the famous Champions League semi-final of 2019. With a brace Messi had the upper hand in the first leg and helped his team hand Liverpool a 3-0 defeat.

However, in the return leg at Anfield van Dijk had the last laugh with him stopping Messi from causing any damage as the Reds scripted a famous 4-0 victory to recover the first-leg deficit.

During a Q&A session on Twitter, the Netherlands international was asked who was his toughest opponent to which he said, “There are some difficult strikers out there but probably Leo Messi.”

In another question, the 28-year-old was asked who he thought was the hardest person to mark on the field. And according to van Dijk, that person would be Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero.

Meanwhile, the ongoing crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already affected more than  8,58,600 people with more than 42,000 fatalities, has forced all the major sporting events across the globe into a standstill.

The top five European football leagues – English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 – the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League have all been postponed and their initial rescheduled comeback is in doubt due to the lockdown in most parts of Europe.

Other than the club competitions, upcoming major international fixtures have either been cancelled or postponed until further notice. The Euro 2020 and the Copa America 2020 have been postponed to the summer of 2021, forcing FIFA to reschedule the Club World Cup due to happen at that time. The parent body of the sport had to cancel some of the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup as well.