Netherlands star Van Dijk has impressed in the Liverpool backline since becoming the world's most expensive defender in January, and his teammate for club and country is not surprised by his exploits.
"I'm not surprised with how Virgil has played," the midfielder told The Mirror. "I knew how good he was. I think you can say that since he came here it has gone a lot better for us defensively.
"I thought he was the right player, but you have to prove it. A lot of people were not sure because it was a lot of money, so Virgil had to show how good he is.
"He will be important in Rome because he speaks a lot and tries to help the defenders around him. He is a leader in that way."
Liverpool last reached the Champions League final in 2007, losing to AC Milan two years after their memorable comeback against the same opposition in Istanbul.