Defenders Virgil Van Dijk and Lucy Bronze win UEFA's Player of the Year awards

2019 Aug 30

On Thursday evening in Monaco, Virgil van Dijk became the first defender, the first Premier League player, and the first Dutchman to win the prestigious UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award beating global superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the prize.

The Dutch centre-back Virgil van Dijk received THREE TIMES as many votes as Cristiano Ronaldo after helping Liverpool win their sixth Champions League title.

Netherlands' captain also took home the UEFA Defender of the Season prize. Liverpool star is undoubtedly the best centre-back in the world right now and there's a big chance he'll be adding the Ballon d'Or to his growing collection of trophies in December.

The 28-year-old was fully deserving of his triumph following a season where he led the Reds to Champions League glory, captained the Netherlands to the final of the inaugural UEFA Nations League and finished second in the Premier League with Liverpool.

The Dutch international made 59 appearances for club and country in 2018/19 season, and played more minutes than any other player.

England star Lucy Bronze was named UEFA Women's Player of the Year becoming the first English footballer to win this title.

Right-back Bronze took the women's prize, having won the Champions League with French side Lyon before helping England reach a second consecutive Women's World Cup semi-final.

The 27-year-old, who beat Lyon teammates Ada Hegerberg and Amandine Henry to the award, was the the Lionesses top performer at the World Cup this year and won the Silver Ball being the tournament’s second best player.

Two-time UEFA Men's Player of the Year winner Lionel Messi picked up his fifth UEFA Forward of the Year prize, while his Barcelona colleague Frenkie de Jong was named as the Midfielder of the Year.

Liverpool star Alisson Becker won the UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year award.