Virgil van Dijk European footballer of the Year. Virgil van Dijk has been named European footballer of the year by UEFA in Monaco.
The 28-year-old defender of Liverpool was awarded the cup after the draw for the group stage of the Champions League.
Van Dijk was nominated together with Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus).
Earlier in the evening, he also got the cup for the best defender.
Frenkie de Jong has been voted best midfielder. Van Dijk is honoured, he says.
“I have had to work very hard for every step in my football career, but that is part of me,
and I am very proud that I have now won this trophy.”
Van Dijk has had the best season of his career so far.
The captain of the Dutch national team won the Champions League with his club last season and after the final was named Man of the Match.
He was already named Footballer of the Year in England by both colleagues and football fans,
even though his club narrowly finished second.
This month he won the European Supercup at the expense of Chelsea with Liverpool.
The prize for European footballer of the year has been awarded since 2011.
The jury consists of 55 sports journalists and 80 coaches from clubs from the group stage of the Champions League.
Van Dijk is the first Dutchman and the first defender ever to receive the prize.
Last year the title went to the Croatian Luka Modric (Real Madrid).