The Liverpool center-back surpassed Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on UEFA’s most prestigious individual title race.
“I am very proud to receive this title. It recognizes the hard work of everyone who helped me. I need to thank my teammates, without them, I cannot achieve the achievements that I have done. I have come a long way and this title is part of that journey, “Van Dijk said during the awards ceremony in Monaco.
Virgil van Dijk contributed to bringing Liverpool to the Champions League last season, finished second in the Premier League and the Dutch team to the Nations League final
At the end of last season, he, therefore, acquired a series of titles in England. But this victory takes Van Dijk to a new level when the opponents he overcomes are the two brightest stars of the contemporary football world: Messi and Ronaldo – who have captured four of these five titles in previous seasons.
Messi and Ronaldo are also the other two candidates on this year’s nominees – in a poll conducted by top journalists and coaches.
Van Dijk joined Liverpool in January 2018 for $ 100 million – a record fee for a defender then. In addition to winning the title of the best player in Europe, Van Dijk also held the title of the best defender in the Champions League last season.
The Champions League Best Goalkeeper Award goes to Alisson. The Brazilian goalkeeper has excelled, contributing greatly to the Liverpool championship.
The best midfielder was given to Frenkie de Jong. The 22-year-old with Ajax made a surprise when passing Real and Juventus to the semi-finals, before losing to Tottenham. This season, De Jong will attend the Champions League with Barca after joining Catalonia.
The best striker belongs to Lionel Messi. The sixth Barca star won the Champions League scorer last season with a record of 12 goals, more than four goals compared to the second (Robert Lewandowski). In addition, Messi won the European Golden Shoe.
In the women’s category, Lucy Bronze won the European Footballer of the Year award. She was the first English female player to do this. Bronze could not attend the awards ceremony on August 29 because he was playing for England to play a friendly against Belgium in Leuven. Bronze is playing for the French club Lyon. Earlier this year, she shone at the women’s soccer World Cup and received the Silver Ball title as well as the second-highest scorer in the tournament.