Liverpool star Van Dijk beats Messi, Ronaldo to prestigious UEFA award

Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk has been named men’s Player of the Year by UEFA.

The Reds defender, a £75m signing from Southampton in January 2018, helped Liverpool to Champions League glory in June and becomes the first Dutchman to win the award.

Van Dijk was also named UEFA Defender of the Year, while his Liverpool teammate Alisson Becker was named UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year.

Barcelona new boy Frenkie De Jong, who starred as Ajax reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last season, was picked as Midfielder of the Year, while his new teammate, Lionel Messi, was awarded Forward of the Year.

However, Van Dijk collected the top award, beating previous winners Messi and Ronaldo in the process.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have learnt their fate, alongside fellow Premier League sides Tottenham, Man City and Chelsea as the draw for the 2019/20 Champions League group stages was made in Monaco.