Van Dijk named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year

The Holland international helped Liverpool win the Champions League last season.

By Press Association Published: 29 August 2019 - 6.13pm

Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk has been named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year for 2018/19.

The 28-year-old Holland international beat Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus to win the award after playing a starring role for Liverpool in their triumphant Champions League campaign.

The former Celtic and Southampton centre-half, who succeeded Real Madrid’s Luka Modric as Europe’s top player, was man of the match in the Champions League final win against Tottenham.

He was also named PFA Player’s Player of the Year in April after leading Liverpool to a second-placed finish in the Premier League.

Liverpool signed Van Dijk for a reported fee of £75million from Southampton on New Year’s Day 2018 and the following October he was installed as captain by manager Jurgen Klopp after a players’ vote.

The Dutchman has added both much-needed steel, as well as guile, to Liverpool’s defence and is widely regarded as one of the world’s best central defenders.