Virgil van Dijk denied Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo yet again, as he emerged the UEFA’s Men’s Player of the Year (2018).
In a glamorous event in Monaco on Thursday, the Dutch man was conferred the honor with a total of 305 points.
UEFA’s jury for the vote was made up of coaches from all 32 teams in last season’s Champions League and the 48 sides in the Europa League, as well as 55 journalists – one for each of UEFA’s member associations.
Each jury member picked their top three players, with their No.1 picking up five points, No.2 three points and No.3 one point.
Messi came in second, pulling 207 votes, while Ronaldo pulled 74 points.
Liverpool, last season, were inspired to the UCL title by Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Alisson Becker and van Dijk.
He also reached the final of the UEFA Nations League, where the Netherlands lost to Portugal.
“First of all, I think I need to thank all of my teammates,” said Van Dijk when picking up the award.
“Without all of them and without the staff, I wouldn’t have achieved what I’ve achieved over the last year especially. I thank my family of course.
“It’s been a long road but that’s part of my journey, it’s part of who I am.
“I needed it like this, I’m not a player who was 18 years old and had that rise straight away.