UEFA Men’s Player of the Year is a star defender. Ace strikers and sentimental favourites Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi lose. And the margin of the victory for the numero uno was huge. Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has been named 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.
Virgil van Dijk also bagged the Champions League Defender of the Season honour.
Messi, however, will have consolation of winning the honours as the Forward of the Season award for the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League campaign. Ronaldo ended up in the third position in this race too.
The other awardees included Lucy Bronze (UEFA Women’s Player of the Year) and Alisson Becker (Champions League Goalkeeper of the Season).
Virgil van Dijk won the race with 305 points with Argentina. Barcelona star Messi in the second position ended up with 207 points and Ronaldo was a distance third with 74 points.
Here are the UEFA Men’s Top 10 players for 2018-19:
- Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool & Netherlands) – 305 points
- Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina) – 207 points
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus & Portugal) – 74 points
- Sadio Mané (Liverpool & Senegal) – 51 points
- Mohamed Salah (Liverpool & Egypt) – 49 points
- Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Real Madrid & Belgium) – 38 points
- Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax/Juventus & Netherlands) – 27 points
- Frenkie de Jong (Ajax/Barcelona & Netherlands) – 27 points
- Raheem Sterling (Manchester City & England) – 12 points
The jury that picked van Dijk as the Player of the Year comprised the 80 coaches of the clubs that participated in the group stages of the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League (32) and UEFA Europa League (48), along with 55 journalists, selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, one from each of UEFA’s member associations.
Jury members picked their top three players, with the first receiving five points, the second three and the third one. Coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.
Players in Europe, irrespective of nationality, were judged according to their performances over the whole season in all competitions – domestically and internationally – at either club or national team level.