The note passed to Virgil van Dijk before equaliser v Germany

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Van Dijk's late volley salvaged a dramatic 2-2 draw for the Dutch in Gelsenkirchen, propelling them into the Nations League Finals in Portugal next summer and completing a miserable campaign for Joachim Low's hosts, whose relegation to League B had already been confirmed.

Footage showed Van Dijk embracing a tearful Hategan and putting his hand on the back of his head.

Quincy Promes gave Holland a sniff with an 85th minute goal, before Van Dijk was pushed up front in desperate search of a goal to send them through.

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Xherdan Shaqiri was Liverpool's star performer on the global scene over the weekend, but Van Dijk followed his lead with a crucial intervention for the Netherlands on Monday.

Speaking after the game as cited on Sunsport the Holland captain said: "That man broke down, stood with tears in his eyes because he had just lost his mother".

"I wished him strength and said he had refereed well. It's a small thing but maybe it will help him".

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The result put the Netherlands top of Nations League Group A1 on seven points, the same number as France but ahead by virtue of a better head-to-head record.

England, Switzerland and Portugal have also qualified for the Nations League finals, which will take place next June.

Gini Wijnaldum played an hour of the encounter, starting as a No. 10 after recent comments from his boss, Ronald Koeman, about the midfielder's selflessness and growing maturity.

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'But this kind of thing seems to be the story of our entire year'.