Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has been named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year 2018/19 in recognition of his achievements for club and country over the last 12 months.
Van Dijk helped Liverpool win the Champions League trophy in Madrid at the end of last season. He also represented the Netherlands at the UEFA Nations League finals, with the Oranje finishing as runners-up in the inaugural edition of the new international tournament.
The Dutch centre-back beat global superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the UEFA prize, underlining the extent of his tremendous achievements last season.
On top of that award, Van Dijk also won UEFA Champions League Defender of the Season.
The UEFA Women’s Player of the Year went to Lyon and England full-back Lucy Bronze, winning the prize ahead of clubmates Ada Hegerberg and Amandine Henry.
Bronze was part of the Lyon side that completed a league, cup and Champions League treble last season, as well starring for England at the Women's World Cup, finishing fourth.
In addition to the overall UEFA Player of the Year awards which took into account all competitions, both at club and international level, UEFA also handed out men's 2018/19 Champions League awards for the best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and forward.
Liverpool star Alisson Becker was named UEFA Champions League Goalkeeper of the Season. The Brazilian lifted the trophy in his debut campaign with the Reds.
UEFA Champions League Midfielder of the Season went to Dutch starlet Frenkie de Jong for his part in Ajax's run to the 2018/19 semi finals. He has since joined Barcelona.
De Jong's new clubmate, Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi scooped the UEFA Champions League Forward of the Season award after finishing as the competition's top scorer again.
Manchester United legend Eric Cantona was the recipient of the prestigious UEFA President’s Award, personally selected by current UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.
Past winners have included Johan Cruyff, and the prize recognises outstanding achievements, professional excellence and exemplary personal qualities, with Cantona’s commitment to improving the lives of others through charity work of particular importance.
Source : 90min