Virgil van Dijk consoles referee Ovidiu Hategan after Netherlands match
Last Updated: 20/11/18 5:59pm
Virgil van Dijk took time to console bereaved referee Ovidiu Hategan following the Netherlands 2-2 draw with Germany on Monday.
The Dutch captain scored a 90th-minute equaliser in Gelsenkirchen to ensure his side finished top of Group A1 and sealed their place in the UEFA Nations League Finals.
However, instead of immediately celebrating with his team-mates at full-time, Van Dijk went to speak with Romanian official Hategan, who can be seen wiping away tears as the Liverpool defender embraced him and offered words of encouragement following a family bereavement.
"The ref had just lost his mother," Van Dijk told Fox Sports after the match. "He broke down with tears in his eyes. I told him to stay strong and that he had refereed well. It's a small thing, but maybe it helps him."
The Netherlands, who failed to qualify for Euro 2016 and last summer's World Cup in Russia, have enjoyed a dramatic turnaround in form under Ronald Koeman, with Van Dijk's late equaliser in Germany capping an impressive group-stage showing in the Nations League.