Today, Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk is widely considered by many to be the best defender in world football, but he once had to draw up a will as he lay incredibly ill on a hospital bed.
The Dutchman has enjoyed remarkable success since his arrival at the Reds in 2018, following some impressive years at Southampton, Celtic and Groningen.
In a recent interview, the 28-year-old spoke about his horrifying experience with acute appendicitis in 2012, revealing that he was close enough to death to decide to write a will that ensured his mother got his money had he passed on.
"I still remember lying in that bed," Van Dijk told the Daily Mail.
"The only thing I could see were tubes dangling out of me. My body was broken and I couldn't do anything.
"At such a moment, the worst scenarios were whizzing around my head.
"My life was at risk. My mum and I prayed to God and discussed possible scenarios. At some point, I had to sign some papers. It was a kind of testament.
"If I died, a part of my money would go to my mum. Of course, nobody wanted to talk about it, but we had to do that. It could have been over."
Van Dijk has played 374 club career matches to date, and has also represented Netherlands on 33 occasions.
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