Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk will not play for Netherlands against Belgium in Tuesday’s friendly, the Dutch FA (KNVB) has announced.
Van Dijk, who scored the opening goal for his country as they beat rivals Germany 3-0 in Amsterdam on Saturday, suffered a rib injury before Liverpool’s Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain last month.
Although he aggravated the problem in the win over Southampton the following week, he has since played against Chelsea, Napoli and Manchester City as well as in the Germany game.
But in a statement, the KNVB said national captain Van Dijk would not travel to Belgium.
The statement said it had been decided that the Dutch would play him only against Germany, resting him against Belgium in order to boost his recovery.
Speaking to reporters after Netherlands’ first win over Germany for 16 years, Van Dijk said he hoped it would herald a brighter future for the team.
“We haven’t been on this path long, but it feels like we are on the right road,” he said.
“No one would have believed you if you had said before the game that we would win by a 3-0 scoreline. We must enjoy the feeling but we are not there yet.”
Van Dijk’s Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah will also miss his country’s second match of the international break. The forward returned to his club amid concerns over a muscle injury suffered during Egypt’s 4-1 win over Swaziland on Friday.