Liverpool ace defender Virgil van Dijk has said the club is facing challenges because “everybody wants to see you fall.”

In an exclusive interview with Eddie Hearn’s ‘No Passion No Point’ podcast on BBC, Van Dijk discussed racism, matches without fans and defending the title.

“I think trying to stay at the top is the hardest thing to do,” he said.

The 29-year-old told Hearn in episode one of the second season of his BBC Sounds podcast: “Everyone wants to see you fall when you reach the top. That is what life is about, especially these days.

“For me I want to give everything I have got until I retire and then have no regrets after.

“I don’t want any regrets afterwards, I think that would be the worst feeling you can have. It is going to be challenging times coming up. We are champions – something that took a while. We should enjoy the moment and go for it.”

The Netherlands international also revealed he was a dishwasher while he was struggling with his football career.

Van Dijk went ahead to play for Groningen, Celtic and Southampton before joining Liverpool for  £75m in 2017.

He played a key role as the Reds ended a 30-year wait for a Premier League title last season.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 30: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool celebrates after scoring their 1st goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Anfield on November 30, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

“You need a bit of luck but apart from that it’s about hard work. Commit yourself to your goals. You have to believe in yourself – if you don’t then no one will.” Van Dink advised those chasing their dreams.

“Set short-term goals. You can have dreams and never stop dreaming as things are always possible. Enjoy the ride, the lows, the ups and the negative side as they can make you who you are.

“I have gone through many things in life but it made me who I am today. Give everything you have got, believe in yourself and never give up.”