Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk has won the Uefa Men’s Player of the Year prize at Monaco tonight, becoming the first defender to ever lift the trophy.
The Netherlands international beat both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to the award, having played a starring role in Liverpool’s Champions League win last season.
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Unsurprisingly, Ronaldo and Messi have dominated this award since it begun in 2011, with the Barcelona forward winning it twice, while Ronaldo has won it three times.
Franck Ribery was also a winner in 2013, while Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric won it last year.
Van Dijk, however, is the first defender to be awarded the best player, with the 28-year-old truly one of the very finest players in the world right now.
? 2018/19 UEFA Men's Player of the Year ?
— #UCLdraw (@ChampionsLeague) August 29, 2019
The imposing centre-back has had a huge impact since joining Liverpool from Southampton in 2018, and he’ll no doubt have his eye on the Ballon d’Or next.
Van Dijk also won PFA Player of the Year at the end of the last Premier League season, and picked up his first trophy of this campaign by winning the Super Cup with Liverpool earlier this month.
Virgil van Dijk in 2019:
? Champions League
? Super Cup
? PFA Player of the Year
? Premier League Player of the Season
? Uefa Defender of the Year
? Uefa Men's Player of the Year pic.twitter.com/3f4lLaS9kd
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) August 29, 2019