‘Van Dijk better than Vidic & is Ballon d’Or contender’

first_imgVirgil van Dijk has “everything”, says former coach Pieter Huistra, with the Liverpool defender already better than Nemanja Vidic was and a serious contender for the 2019 Ballon d’Or.The Netherlands international has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence over the last 18 months.He was already established as a Premier League star during his days at Southampton, but a record-breaking £75 million ($95m) move to Anfield has seen Van Dijk join the global elite. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? His presence is credited with having turned Liverpool into Premier League title challengers and Champions League winners, while he has also become captain of his country.Huistra, who worked with the 27-year-old at Groningen, believes Van Dijk can now be considered a more complete player than Vidic – who spent eight memorable years at Manchester United.“I’m biased anyway, so I would choose Virgil. He has more, he has a little bit more,” Huistra told talkSPORT.“Vidic, of course, without any doubt was a very good player, he played in a top team.“In my view, Virgil has everything. He has the flair, he has the technique, he has the passing, he has the defensive leadership, he has the personality that catches people’s eye.“I just admire the strengths of certain players.“There have been very good defenders in the Premier League and when you [Van Dijk] are talked about in that group of players, then it’s a good honour.”Lionel Messi Virgil van Dijk Ballon d'OrVan Dijk’s efforts across the 2018-19 campaign, which also included a Nations League final appearance with the Netherlands, have seen him become the PFA Player of the Year.There could be more prestigious individual prizes to come, with the Dutchman expected to challenge the likes of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi for the Ballon d’Or.“He’s one of the contenders. There are always other players as well, but he should certainly be considered,” Huistra said of Van Dijk’s claims to the title of best player on the planet.“A defender is often overlooked, but defending is a very important part of football. Attacking always starts from the defenders. Virgil is important in that, he can direct from the back.“I always said to my central defenders, ‘you’re always the playmakers of the team, you decide how the attack will start’.“So if you have a defender like Virgil, who is quick and direct and has a good diagonal pass or a pass in behind the opposition, it’s very effective and important.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Good news Dublin Bus fleet now 100 per cent accessible

first_imgWHETHER YOU ARE a regular user of Dublin Bus, or planning to use it at some point in the future, we have good news for you: the fleet is now accessible to all.The company described 2013 as “a momentous year for Dublin Bus” and has delivered on its commitment to having a fully low-floor wheelchair accessible fleet by the close of 2012.This is good news not only for wheelchair users but for customers with mobility impairments, older customers and customers with buggies.All buses are now equipped with low floor chassis, kneeling suspension to further reduce entry step height, retractable ramp at entrance and a priority space for wheelchair users as standard.The new buses have been deployed across the Dublin Bus network and operate on Routes 1, 4, 7, 29a, 33, 102, 104 and 151.This achievement was made possible by the recent acquisition of 80 new highly advanced double decker buses as part of Dublin Bus’ fleet replacement programme and funded by the National Transport Authority.The 80 new buses have a range of improved accessibility features, including:Bilingual passenger information signs in the upper and lower saloons announcing the next bus stop (the company is also piloting audio next stop announcements on Route 7)Clearer signage to identify the priority space for wheelchair usersImproved signage at the front seating area for priority seats.Accessibility groupThese developments are in part a result of Dublin Bus’ accessibility working group. The National Disability Authority’s Director, Siobhán Barron, said they welcome the achievement, seeing it as “a significant step in supporting people with disabilities as active citizens in the community’’.Since 2007, Dublin Bus has also provided a Travel Assistance Scheme, where a Dublin Bus Travel Assistant accompanies the service user the first few times they travel and also provides advice on planning a journey using Dublin Bus, the DART or the Luas.Bus user Frank Daly said of the scheme, which runs from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, is free of charge and available to people aged 18 or over:It has given me greater independence and has been a very positive experience for me.Dublin Bus’ Accessibility Officer, Dolores Henchin said of today’s news:Reaching this target ensures that anyone across the Greater Dublin Area can travel on our services as far as Newcastle in County Wicklow, Balbriggan in North County Dublin and Maynooth in County Kildare.Read: Bus Éireann roll out free WiFi across 7 stations nationwide>VIDEO: Want to take a trip around Dublin city in 1965? Now you can…last_img read more