Liverpool's Virgil Van Dijk Warmly Embraces Teary-Eyed Referee Whose Mother Passed Away
Virgil van Dijk produced a real captain's moment for the Netherlands after he grabbed a 90th-minute equaliser against Germany in the Nations League.
However, the 27-year-old Liverpool centre-back provided an even better moment at the end of the match.
The former Celtic and Southampton star approached and warmly embraced referee, Ovidiu Haţegan, who had recently lost his mother.
"That man broke down, stood with tears in his eyes because he had just lost his mother," he said.
"I wished him strength and said that he had blown [the referee's whistle] well. It's a small thing, but maybe it helps him."
What an absolute hero van Dijk is. It's a real touch of class from the Dutch captain.
Referee Ovidiu Hategan recently lost his mother. Right after the FT whistle Virgil van Dijk went towards him to comfort him, while crying. This is beautiful.
- AFC Ajax :dizzy: (@TheEuropeanLad) 19 November 2018
Following on from a dismal performance at the World Cup in the summer, Germany started strongly against the Dutch when Timo Werner opened the scoring in the first ten minutes and Leroy Sané doubled their lead shortly afterwards.
The Dutch rallied late on, as Quincy Promes scored before van Dijk stepped up and added a second to level the score to 2-2, which is how things tallied up at full-time.
Ronald Koeman's side have secured a spot in the Nations League semi-finals along with Portugal, Switzerland and England.
"It's great that Virgil scores that late equaliser of course - how often did Germany score in the last minute in recent years?" Koeman told the Daily Mirror. "Now it appears the Netherlands can do it, too.
"Of course, with Dwight [Lodeweges] and Kees van Wonderen we went through different scenarios prior to the game, and also that we had to force something in the final phase.
"But when it came up at 2-0 I said no, we are not going to do that now. Then it becomes 4-0 or 5-0. But I wanted to do it at 2-1."
United fan here but that is class from van dijk :clap:
- Qammar shah (@shah_qamshah512) 20 November 2018
@jyotipeaches just when I thought I couldn't love him anymore he goes and does shit like this. fuck sake man :sob::weary: Wotta man, I tell ya pic.twitter.com/hJ5XZJffpd
- Eden June (@ejhalasz) 20 November 2018
Legend in everything :heart:
- Khaled (@a_kaleed) 20 November 2018
- Michael Gallagher (@itsskitime) 20 November 2018
Meanwhile, Gareth Southgate's Three Lions produced a sensational comeback against Croatia over the weekend, winning 2-1 after conceding the first goal, to land their spot in the semi-finals.
Featured Image Credit: Nederlandse Omroep Stichting