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'He is not fast' - Sergio Aguero offers advice to Lionel Messi and Argentina over Virgil van Dijk

liverpoolecho.co.uk 5 hours ago
Sergio Aguero with his former Argentina team-mate Lionel Messi (left), who will face Virgil van Dijk (right) in the World Cup quarter-finals
Sergio Aguero with his former Argentina team-mate Lionel Messi (left), who will face Virgil van Dijk (right) in the World Cup quarter-finals

Sergio Aguero insists Virgil van Dijk is "not fast" as his former Argentina team-mates prepare to take on the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

Aguero came up against Van Dijk and enjoyed many a tough battle against the Liverpool centre-back during his time at Manchester City.

And ahead of the Netherlands' last-eight clash against Argentina, the 34-year-old has offered some advice to Lionel Messi and Co about the Reds star.

“He is not fast; he has long legs: 10 sprints from me are two from him,” Aguero said to ESPN Argentina about Van Dijk, who is the captain of his national side. “You have to distract him with something else… someone to yell at him from the stands. If I’m there, I’ll start talking to him there.

“He’s big. Once in the Premier League, he said that the most difficult to score was me. He plays with your physique; that is, he is measuring you and you have to find a manoeuvre for him and do it to him so that he eats it because he is not one to go out and push.

"He lets you receive; he waits for you to throw him the long ball and he puts your body in and bye. He plays like that.”

Van Dijk, who is playing in his first major international tournament, is looking to captain his side to the semi-finals of the World Cup in Qatar.

The Netherlands booked their place in the last eight with a 3-1 win over the USA. Later on Saturday their quarter-final opponents were confirmed when an Argentina side inspired by the legendary Messi beat Australia 2-1.

Aguero may have been in the Argentina squad in Qatar had he not been forced to retire from football last December, at the age of 33, due to a heart condition.

Aguero had signed for Barcelona six months earlier after a glittering career at Man City, which included a number of goals scored against Liverpool.

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