Virgil van Dijk beats Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to pick up UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk created history after being chosen UEFA Men’s Player of the Year on Thursday, becoming the 1st defender ever to win the prestigious title.
- Lionel Messi was chosen the Forward of the Season
- Virgil van Dijk was also chosen the Defender of the Season
- Veteran Eric Cantona was conferred with the UEFA President’s Award
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk won the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year and the Defender of the Season award for the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League campaign here on Thursday. Van Dijk’s brilliant performance in the last season helped his club lift the Champions League title.
The 28-year-old was competing against Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi for the Player of the Year award. In May, the defender was named Premier League Player of the Season. By doing so, he became the first defender to win the Player of the Season award in seven seasons, after Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany in 2011-12.
Earlier in the year, Van Dijk had won PFA Players’ Player of the Season, Liverpool Players’ and Fans’ Player of the Season.
It did not take long for Liverpool to take an interest in van Dijk although initially Southampton rejected the Merseyside club’s approach. Nonetheless, Liverpool did sign van Dijk during the 2018 winter transfer window for a then world record fee of $90M for a defender.
Full-back Bronze won the Women’s Champions League title with Lyon before helping England reach the women’s World Cup semi-finals.
“We had an amazing season, winning the treble,” said Bronze of Lyon’s exploits. “I think any of my teammates could have been up here receiving the award today.”
The 27-year-old Bronze is the first English player to win either of the UEFA player of the year titles.