£75m man Virgil van Dijk produces priceless moment by embracing grief-stricken ref

Netherlands’ defender Virgil van Dijk celebrates during the UEFA Nations League match against Germany in Gelsenkirchen

Netherlands’ defender Virgil van Dijk celebrates during the UEFA Nations League match against Germany in Gelsenkirchen

Van Dijk's heroics continued after the match, though, when he approached the referee, Ovidiu Hategan.

Footage showed Van Dijk embracing a tearful Hategan and putting his hand on the back of his head.

The appointments earlier in 2018 of a new coach, Ronald Koeman, and captain, Virgil van Dijk have clearly rejuvenated the side.

"This is the reward for our hard work", central defender Van Dijk told reporters. I consoled him and told him he refereed well.

In the UEFA Nations League, the Netherlands have come from 2 goals down to draw with Germany and advance to the semi-finals of the tournament.

Germany, who led 2-0 after only 20 minutes through goals by Timo Werner and Leroy Sane, were punished for not being clinical enough in the second half. But a goal from Liverpool's Gini Wijnaldum and a late Memphis Depay penalty saw them consign France to their first defeat in 15 matches on Friday.

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Van Dijk then popped up in second-half stoppage time to volley home from close range for Netherlands' equaliser and the point they needed to reach the Nations League final. I wished him strength and said that he had officiated the game well.

Holland stayed resilient however, finding a way back into the contest and a glimmer of hope courtesy of Quincy Promes.

One thing is for sure: with everyone he's done over the last few days, the Dutch certainly have a captain they can be very proud of.

As the two sides lined up for the national anthems whilst donning their tracksuits, van Dijk gave his jacket to a young mascot who was cold in a superb gesture.

"But at half-time I said: if we make the 2-1, then we make the 2-2 too".

'But this kind of thing seems to be the story of our entire year'.

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