Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool defender, has been awarded UEFA Men’s Player of the Year for 2018/19.
The Dutch international beat off competition from three-time UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo and two-time winner Lionel Messi.
The 28-year-old centre-back received the trophy on stage in Monaco during the UEFA Champions League group stage draw.
Van Dijk was instrumental to the success of his club at the UEFA Champion League. He was declared the man of the match as his side edged out Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid.
Van Dijk has kept more clean sheets than any defender in Europe’s top five leagues in 2018/19, since arriving Liverpool in early 2018.
His honours include UEFA Champions League winner, UEFA Nations League runner-up, English Premier League runner-up, PFA Players’ Player of the Year.
Other award winners
UEFA Women’s Player of the Year: Lucy Bronze
Goalkeeper of the Season: Alisson Becker
Defender of the Season: Virgil van Dijk
Midfielder of the Season: Frenkie de Jong
Forward of the Season: Lionel Messi