Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk wins UEFA men’s player of the year, beating off both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to the award, following his last season’s Champions League success with Liverpool.
Considering one-on-one take-on, Van Dijk was never beaten throughout 2018/19 season. He was nominated with Ronaldo and Messi who have both won the award five times each. Van Dijk contributed greatly to Liverpool’s Champions League glory. He played an integral role in converting Jurgen Klopp’s side from runners-up in 2018 to European Champions in 2019.
Last season Messi won his tenth La Liga title with Barcelona. They reached the Champions League semi-finals but lost to Liverpool. Ronaldo saw his desire to win his 6th Champions League title ruined by Ajax last season. But his campaign was not all bad. His team Juventus wrapped up an 8th consecutive Serie A title in Italy. His National team (Portugal) won Van Dijk’s Netherland side to Nations League glory in June.
The 28 years defender is among defenders who have won the UEFA player of the year award. Fabio Cannavaro of Italy in 2006 and Franz Beckenbauer of the then, West Germany in the year 1972 are t defenders to have won it. He is the first Defender to win the award since the inaugural edition in 2011. He also won the Champions League Defender of the Season. His teammate Alison Becker claimed the Goalkeeper of the Season for excellent performance in the Champions League. Frenkie de Jong won Midfielder of the Season after a stellar performance which inspired Ajax to the semi-finals last season. Lionel Messi won the Champions League Forward of the Season award.