Virgil van Dijk has been a mainstay for Liverpool and the Netherlands National Team for the last few years.
Still in the prime of his career, many consider him one of (if not the best) defenders in the world. His versatility allows him to match up well with all different types of players.
Off the pitch, his star power has led to a lot of people wondering about his life. They know him as the only defender to win UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award, but they are curious about everything else.
Here’s everything you need to know about Virgil van Dijk’s family.
|Virgil van Dijk Family||Name|
|Parents||Ron van Dijk, Hellen Fo Sieeuw|
|Siblings||Jordan & Jennifer van Dijk|
|Kids||Nila van Dijk, Jadi van Dijk|
Early Life of Virgil van Dijk
Van Dijk was born in the southern Netherlands city of Breda. His father was Dutch, while his mother is from Suriname. His father inspired him to take on soccer at an early age, playing just about anywhere he could find action.
Like a lot of defenders early on, he started as an offensive-minded player. It wasn’t until he hit a growth spurt as a teenager that he moved to a defensive position. His size became a weapon in stopping other teams.
Despite having soccer in his blood thanks to his Dutch father, a family feud led to the two not speaking much. It’s said that Ron Van Dijk abandoned his son and family, causing great turmoil during the early parts of his life. Although he doesn’t talk about it much, he’s made it clear that his mother raised him by herself.
Through his mother, van Dijk is part Chinese. This has helped him gain a solid following in the country as they fall in love more and more with the sport. Despite the connection, van Dijk doesn’t speak Chinese and knows very little about the country since it was far removed from his early life.
Van Dijk played at Willem II Academy before joining Southampton in 2015. It was his first taste of playing youth soccer at a level preparing him for a professional career.
The star defender has two siblings: Jordan and Jennifer. The live life removed from the spotlight, carving out their own professional careers while their superstar brother finds success on the pitch.
There were some incorrect reports early on in his career that he was related to Sergio Van Dijk, a striker who played for several club teams also from the Netherlands.
Marriage and Kids
Virgil van Dijk married his childhood sweetheart, Rike Nooitgedagt. The couple has four children. They officially married in 2017, although they’ve acted like a married couple throughout his professional career.
One of the ways they have stayed together throughout the years comes down to the private nature of the family. They have four children, but they’ve only officially named two of them to the outside world.
Virgil van Dijk has social media, but he posts virtually no personal photos. All of the updates on Instagram relate to playing on the field. His wife doesn’t have Instagram, which is a rarity in today’s world.
This lack of information might disappoint some fans, but van Dijk believes that it allows his family to have the privacy they wish for. His children also have the opportunity to grow up outside of the spotlight. That can bring positives and negatives to the table.
For most of his career, van Dijk has opted for his first name on his jersey instead of his last. This has to do with his rough relationship with his late father.
Since his father abandoned the family early on, he felt like he didn’t want to honor the family name on his jersey. It’s a choice many European soccer players have when determining the look of their jersey.
Professional Career Overview
After spending time with Groningen at the youth level, they finally believed in May 2011 that he was ready for senior-level play. He was used as a sub here and there, developing into a more dominant player in a 2011–2012 Eredivisie season.
Van Dijk suffered from peritonitis and kidney poisoning early on as a pro, potentially putting his life at risk. He was able to bounce back better than expected, and he is stellar play grabbed the attention of several teams.
His next top would be with Celtic, as he signed a four-year deal to become a focal point for the Scottish club team. He made 76 parents for the club, turning into a key player on the defensive side of the ball.
He scored nine times in those contests, while setting up plenty of other goals along the way. Despite the contract, he stayed for two seasons before signing a five-year contract with Southampton.
With Southampton, it was another relatively short stint for van Dijk. even though he was named captain by his second season, wealthier teams starting to give him a look. Liverpool was the most aggressive team, angling to get him a couple of seasons before they did at the end of 2017.
Since January 1, 2018, van Dijk has been a key part of Liverpool‘s team. This is now considered the club he’ll be most remembered for, as he has 135 appearances and counting.
He’s a very solid set-piece taker for Liverpool, and is one of the top center defenders seen in the modern game.
Outside of club life, he’s been the captain of the Netherlands national team since 2018. He’s been a steady performer for the country since taking the reins, even though they haven’t had the type of team success they hoped for.
The Future of Van Dijk
Now 31 years old, Virgil van Dijk is starting to slow down ever so slightly while playing at the highest level. Liverpool seems very happy with his play, but there’s always a chance that he’s on the move yet again.
Like a lot of top-end soccer players, many in the Netherlands would love to see him come back to play for a domestic team later this career. Defenders usually age well, and the physicality of Van Dijk means that he could play at a solid level for years to come.