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Virgil Van Dijk Pips Messi And Ronaldo To Win UEFA Men’s Player Of The Year Award
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Virgil Van Dijk Pips Messi And Ronaldo To Win UEFA Men’s Player Of The Year Award

Felix Egbomuche

Felix Egbomuche

Liverpool and Netherlands defender, Virgil van Dijk, has been named UEFA Men's Player of the Year for 2018/19.

The big center-back beat off competition from three-time UEFA Men's Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo and two-time winner Lionel Messi.

The 28-year-old received the trophy on stage in Monaco during the UEFA Champions League group stage draw which held on Thursday.

Before receiving the award, the Dutch international spoke on being nominated for the award alongside Messi and Ronaldo.

"It feels alright! I'm very proud to be here. Obviously, these two guys have done pretty well over the last 15 years," the Liverpool number 4 said.

Virgil Van Dijk Pips Messi And Ronaldo To Win UEFA Men’s Player Of The Year Award

Liverpool manager was excited while reacting to the win by for the man he paid record fee to sign from Southampton in January 2018.

"Brilliant! It’s really big. I wanted to call him immediately but he had to go on stage. I’m so happy for him; I’m happy for us as well because he knows that without the boys around him, he cannot win that prize.

"It’s a prize for all of us – but we send our big man there to get it. It’s big. It’s really rare for a defender. It’s such important information for football, such an important sign for football. Yes, we all love goals – we want to score them and see them – but more and more and more people get excited about defending.

"Virg is an exceptional defender, in the moment 100 percent the best defender in the world, so he deserves that prize absolutely. It’s now the icing on the cake of the Champions League campaign last year. It’s really big and I’m completely happy for him and his family.

Top 10:

1 Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool & Netherlands) – 305 points

2 Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina) – 207 points

3 Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus & Portugal) – 74 points

5 Sadio Mané (Liverpool & Senegal) – 51 points

6 Mohamed Salah (Liverpool & Egypt) – 49 points

7 Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Real Madrid & Belgium) – 38 points

8= Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax/Juventus & Netherlands) – 27 points

8= Frenkie de Jong (Ajax/Barcelona & Netherlands) – 27 points

10 Raheem Sterling (Manchester City & England) – 12 points

Previous Winners:

2018/19 – Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool & Netherlands)

2017/18 ─ Luka Modrić (Real Madrid & Croatia)

2016/17 ─ Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid & Portugal)

2015/16 ─ Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid & Portugal)

2014/15 ─ Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina)

2013/14 ─ Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid & Portugal)

2012/13 ─ Franck Ribéry (Bayern & France)

2011/12 ─ Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona & Spain)

2010/11 ─ Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina)