Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has emerged the winner of the UEFA Player of the Year to edge out Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The award ceremony was along side the UEFA Champions League draw in Monaco France. Van Dijk was also awarded the Defender of the Year.
The Dutch was instrumental in Leverpool winning their sixth European Cup in a 2-0 Champions League final victory over Tottenham.
“I need to thank my teammates, without them I would not have achieved what I have achieved,” Van Dijk told BT Sport.
“It’s been a long road and it’s part of my journey. I’m very proud to get this trophy. It’s credit to everyone who has helped me.”
The three-man Men’s Player shortlist was decided following votes from a jury of 80 coaches of the clubs that began the Champions League (32) and Europa League (48) group stages last season, as well as one journalist from each of the 55 UEFA member associations.
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