There was a surprise in store for those keeping track of the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award, as Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to the prize. Social media immediately showered him with praise on his win.
A UEFA Champions League-winning campaign was enough to help Virgil van Dijk beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to the Player of the Year award. The Dutchman was simply impenetrable during the previous campaign and was dribbled past a grand total of zero times.
Meanwhile, the towering centre back also scooped up the UEFA Defender of the Year award ahead of Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt. Van Dijk’s teammate Alisson ensured a triple swoop for Liverpool by winning the Goalkeeper of the year award.
However, it was his Player of the Year win which got the social media talking, especially since he had beaten Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Here are some of the best reactions:
✨ 2018/19 UEFA Men's Player of the Year ✨
— #UCLdraw (@ChampionsLeague) August 29, 2019
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 29, 2019
20 months ago, people were questioning the £75m fee paid for Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton.
Now he’s reached the CL final twice, won it once, PFA Player of the year, won the Super Cup, CL best Defender, UEFA Player of the year and soon the Club World Cup then Ballon D’or. pic.twitter.com/ZS7PtUlmH2
— Samuel (@SamueILFC) August 29, 2019
— Seema Jaswal (@meseemajaswal) August 29, 2019
Deserved winner Van Dijk! Rivals doesn't mean you can't appreciate class
— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) August 29, 2019
Van Dijk has won the Champions League best player 2018/19 award. We really have no idea what else they expect from Leo Messi. pic.twitter.com/b3fscRYKGf
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) August 29, 2019
Virgil Van Dijk:
• Champions League Winner
• Super Cup Winner
• Nations League finalist
• PFA Player of the Year
• UCL Player of the Year
• UCL Defender of the Year
• Most clean sheets in PL and UCL
• Didn't get dribbled past for a year
Give this man the Ballon d'Or.
— 9 (@EnRouteAnfield) August 29, 2019
Liverpool's Virgil Van Dijk wins the #UEFA Men's Player of the Year.
Ronaldo was in pole position for the award until that Shopee advert.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) August 29, 2019
Massive moment for Ronaldo and Messi as they get front row seats to watch Van Dijk collect his award.
— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) August 29, 2019
Meanwhile, Virgil van Dijk will hope to repeat his achievements this season and Liverpool have received the perfect platform to launch their Champions League campaign on. The Reds have been drawn alongside Napoli, Genk, and Salzburg for the 2019/20 UCL Group Stage.