Virgil van Dijk has won the 2018/19 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award
Is Virgil van Dijk a step closer to winning Ballon d’Or this year?? We just have to wait and see. The 28-year old Dutch and Liverpool defender won the 2018-19 UEFA Men’s Player of the Award beating Portuguese and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentine and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi. Van Dijk also became the first defender in history to win the award. Van Dijk also won the 2018-19 UEFA Defender of the Season award, while his Liverpool teammate Allison Becker won the 2018-19 UEFA Goalkeeper of the Season Award. Lucy Bronze won the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year award.
On accepting one of the prestigious awards in football, he thanked his teammates and everyone for what they achieved last year. He also thanked his family.
“I am very proud to get this trophy and its all credit to everyone helped me along the way.”
When asked about the role model he considers, he stated that as a young player he looked up Brazilian Ronaldinho as his role model or inspiration.
Croatian and Real Madrid midfielder dominated all awards last year and Van Dijk is dong so this year. Cristiano Ronaldo is the only player to win the award 3 times, and twice in a row, having won the award in 2014, 2016, and 2017. Lionel Messi has won it twice in 2011 and 2015. Other recipients of the awards are Andres Iniesta (2012), Franck Ribery (2013), and Luka Modric (2018). Following the 2018-19 season, he has already won PFA Player of the Year and the Premier League Player of the Season award. He helped Liverpool to win UEFA Champions League 2018-19 and to finish second in the Premier League last season, second to Manchester City. He also helped the Netherlands to reach final of the inaugural UEFA Nations Cup, where they lost to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal.
Liverpool goalkeeper Allison Becker won the UEFA Goalkeeper of the Season, Former Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong won the UEFA Midfielder of the Season, and Barcelona star Lionel Messi won the UEFA Forward of the Season.
The top Ten
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
9. Frenkie de Jong (Ajax/Barcelona & Netherlands) – 27 points
10. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City & England) – 12 points
UEFA Champions League draw for the 2019-2020 season was also held during the ceremony. Former Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder and former Czech goalkeeper Peter Cech did the honor. The new Champions League campaign will commence from 17 September. Here is the Champions League draw for the 2019-20 season.