Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk wins UEFA Player of the Year award

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Liverpool defender, Virgil van Dijk edged past Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win the UEFA Player of the Year Award on Thursday.

Van Dijk played a major role in the game that saw Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 in the Champions League final in Madrid in June.

Van Dijk, 28, will be the first defender to win the award since the inaugural edition in 2010-11.

Messi and Ronaldo had claimed five of the previous eight awards between them, and Andres Iniesta (2012), Franck Ribery (2013) and Luka Modric (2018) completing the winners’ list.

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Since joining Liverpool from Southampton in January 2018 in a £75m deal, the Netherlands centre-back was an integral part of the side that won European football’s top prize last season.

He’s also credited to have pushed eventual Premier League champions Manchester City all the way in the title race.

“I’m very proud to get this trophy. It’s credit to everyone who has helped me,” said Van Dijk.

“I need to thank my team-mates, without them I would not have achieved what I have achieved. It’s been a long road and it’s part of my journey.”

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