Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has won UEFA Men’s Player of the Year and the Best Defender for 2018/19.
The 28-year-old kept five clean sheets in 12 Champions League matches, while he contributed two goals and two assists in order to helped Liverpool acquired their sixth UEFA Champions League last season and went on to beat Tottenham in the final, he was also part of the Netherland squad that played the UEFA Nations League final against Portugal, they were edged out with a 1:0 defeat, he also helped Liverpool achieved the second spot in the Premier League last season.
He was named as the man of the match following his exceptional display during the 2-0 victory over Spurs in the final.
He won the PFA Players‘ Player of the Season as well as Liverpool Players‘ and Fans’ Player of the Season after his incredible last season campaign.
He said: “I need to thank my teammates; without them, I wouldn’t have achieved what I’ve achieved over the past year, It’s been a long road but it’s been part of my journey. I had to work hard at every step along the way and I’m happy to have done that. I’m happy to receive this trophy – it’s a credit to everyone I’ve worked alongside.”
The match was held on 9 June 2019 at the Estádio do Dragão in Porto, Portugal, and was contested by hosts Portugal and the Netherlands. Portugal won the final 1–0 to become the first champions of the UEFA Nations League.
The Dutchman has been an inspiration for Liverpool since joining from Southampton for a world-record fee of £75 million for a defender he was an essential hero of the side that the won Uefa Champions League last season and challenged eventual the Premier League champions Manchester City all the way in the trophy dash last season.
The pair of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi made the top three for the awards, while Messi obtained the forward of the Season award and Van Dijk doubles his award with the Uefa Champions League defender of the year award, but the Uefa Nations League winner Ronaldo outlasted.
Messi helped Barcelona eased past their local rivals to win the La Liga last season, his team got knocked out of the Champions League in the semi-finals at Anfield when Wijnaldum and Divock Origi brace helped Liverpool conquered his Spanish club.
Ronaldo won the Scudetto in his first season at Juventus, reaching the quarter-final of the Champions League. He helped Portugal win the UEFA Nations League earlier this summer too.
Below is the video of Virgil Van Dijk collecting his UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award for 2018/19:
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker also awarded UEFA goalkeeper of the season. The Brazilian shot-stopper walks on to the stage to collect his award. He communicated in the Portuguese Language when he was giving his speech. The Brazilian kept six clean sheets during Liverpool’s Champions League run, including the final where he made eight saves in the Reds’ 2-0 win over Tottenham.
Frenkie de Jong claimed the midfielder award ahead of Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson. The Netherlands international played a key role in Ajax‘s memorable run to the semi-finals, which included victories over Real Madrid and Juventus.
His performances unsurprisingly saw him draws interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs, with Barcelona ultimately winning the race for the 22-year-old in a £65 million deal.
England Female Defender Lucy Bronze beats her Lyon teammates Ada Hegerberg and Amandine Henry to win the Uefa Women player of the year award.
She is the first English winner of the honour, voted for by top coaches in the women’s competition and reporters.
The first award of the evening was presented to a legendary player Eric Cantona, the former Manchester United star received the UEFA President’s Award.
The Prior winners of the award include David Beckham, Johan Cruyff, Bobby Charlton, Franz Beckenbauer, Bobby Robson and Paolo Maldini.
Eric Cantona said in his speech: “Science will make humans eternal, only war and crime will kill people. Unfortunately, war and crime will multiply. I love football“