Even so, Van Dijk understands that Barcelona is the job that the coach coveted.
Virgil van Dijk said he was “disappointed” after Ronald Koeman decided to take the coaching job at Barcelona, even though he understood that his former boss in the Dutch national team had long wanted to coach at Camp Nou.
Koeman was recently announced as Quique Setien’s replacement at Barca after the Spaniard was sacked following an 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Koeman, who previously played as a defender at Barcelona, chose to leave his post in the Netherlands national team despite his desire to tackle the Oranje at Euro 2020, which was later pushed back in 2021.
With the quadrennial tournament being rescheduled for next summer, Koeman has decided to accept Barcelona’s offer and Van Dijk knows very well.
“We are all disappointed after seeing a great national team coach like that leave, but we accept him wholeheartedly,” said the Liverpool defender.
“You can ask each player in the squad one by one, everyone will have the same feeling. That [pekerjaan melatih Barcelona] is his biggest dream.
“In our lives today, coinciding with the corona and all the uncertainties that come with it, the Euro which will not take place with one hundred percent certainty, if such an opportunity comes, I can understand it.”
Van Dijk admitted that he was contacted by Koeman who wanted to tell him about his decision before he signed a contract with Barcelona.
And the former Southampton man said he was not trying to persuade Koeman to stay because he understood the situation from the start.
“I didn’t try to persuade him to stay then. It must have been going on for some time. Nobody expected it to happen so quickly, but we are very happy for him. Now we have to move on. [perjuangan di timnas Belanda].”
The Netherlands is led by interim coach Dwight Lodeweges for the UEFA Nations League against Poland and Italy.
Lodeweges has been an assistant to the Dutch national team since 2018, and he also gave Koeman his blessing while preparing for his first match as coach.
“You know how it works in world football. He has rejected Barcelona twice. If he gets a third chance then you give it to him,” he said.
“For us, it’s a shame, we are of course not happy with him leaving, but for sure we understand Koeman’s decision.”