Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has helped out his former club FC Groningen after the Dutch football season was ended by the coronavirus pandemic.
Van Dijk, who won the UEFA and PFA player of the year awards last season, started his career at Groningen, where he broke into the first team nine years ago.
Dutch clubs have taken a financial hit after the Eredivisie season was called off last month amid the Covid-19 outbreak, so Van Dijk has stepped in to help his old club by buying four season tickets.
And the Holland international will also help out hard-up fans of the club by raffling off the tickets for supporters who wouldn’t normally be able to afford them.
“I help with this @fcgroningen in this difficult time. The season tickets are ultimately raffled among FC fans who cannot purchase one themselves!”
The Eredivisie campaign was abandoned last month with no champions declared. At the time Ajax were top, ahead of second-placed AZAlkmaar on goal difference. Groningen were ninth.
Van Dijk came through the youth ranks at Groningen before making his debut in 2011. He joined Celtic in 2013 before a move to Premier League side Southampton two years later.
Jurgen Klopp signed him for Liverpool in January 2018 for £75million – at the time a world record for a defender – and the centre-back colossus has been a huge part of the Reds’ success ever since.
Van Dijk helped Liverpool reach the Champions League final that season, and while they lost to Real Madrid, the defender’s calm consistency at the back was a major factor in the Reds going one better the following campaign, beating Tottenham to lift a sixth European Cup.
Since then, Van Dijk and Liverpool have won the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup, and needed just two wins to seal the title when the Premier League season was halted by coronavirus back in March.
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