Soccer-Van Dijk not worried about getting injured ahead of World Cup


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - UEFA Nations League - Group D - Poland v Netherlands - PGE Narodowy, Warsaw, Poland - September 22, 2022 Netherlands' Virgil van Dijk in action with Poland's Robert Lewandowski REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Defender Virgil van Dijk is not worried about getting injured before the World Cup even though he faces a gruelling schedule with Liverpool before heading to Qatar with the Netherlands.

Van Dijk missed the last European Championship as he was sidelined with a knee injury but said on Saturday he was not worried about suffering the same setback again ahead of this year's finals, which kick off on Nov. 20.

"It’s not something that I have thought about. It is indeed 13 games in two months but they are games that you want to play in. If you spend time thinking about it, then you are likely to get injured,” van Dijk told reporters ahead of the Netherlands’ Nations League clash with neighbours Belgium.

“I play games to win. At Liverpool we are in a phase where we have to win anyway. That will be the full focus from Monday when I report back there.”

Van Dijk, with 48 caps, made his debut for the Dutch national side in 2015 but they failed to qualify for the European Championship in 2016 and the last World Cup in Russia.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by xx)

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