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Congrats Virgil Van Dijk, but really?

Apparently, the era of dominance between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi is over. And this time, it was Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk who claimed the prize for UEFA Men’s Player of the Year for 2018-19. But really?

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Congrats Virgil Van Dijk, but really? - Virgil van Dijk

Apparently, the era of dominance between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi is over. And this time, it was Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk who claimed the prize for UEFA Men’s Player of the Year for 2018-19. But really?

Don’t judge the book by its cover, at least not yet. However, while Virgil Van Dijk obviously made himself a massive figure in the past season, was the defender really that spectacular?

It’d be easy to call the shots in favour of Lionel Messi, who scored 12 goals in just ten games, one less than the entire Liverpool legendary frontline. Besides, it’s called the “UEFA Men’s Player Award” right?

However, with Lionel Messi’s 12 goals just not enough to see Barcelona to the Last four, and Cristiano Ronaldo also falling short. Virgil Van Dijk is by far the outright winner of the three.

Congrats Virgil Van Dijk, but really? - Virgil van Dijk

The Dutchman appears to be the stand out winner by a mile against his opponents tonight. However he doesn’t particularly look an outright winner, if the battle stood between himself and teammates Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane and Allison Becker. Who also threw in an impressive performance through the previous campaign. 

The record keeps Van Dijk at five clean sheets in 12 appearances as well as scoring two goals and contributing two assists as the Merseyside club, lifted the European Cup for a sixth time.

But wait, he’s a defender right? Where are his defensive records? Don’t say five clean sheets, that’s a record for Liverpool, not Van Dijk.

Allison who was key in achieving glory in Europe, with his cat-like reflexes was snubbed for the award, but he undoubtedly deserved to be there as he played a major role in keeping the Merseyside reds goal post safe throughout the competition. 

Forwards Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah also had their fair share in making sure the reds lifted the trophy.

Was Virgil Van Dijk truly the biggest difference in the Liverpool team? Or was the choice simply an answer to the outcry from the football world for something different?

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Driven by the passion for the game, Gabriel is an avid Sports & Football fan, lover and now writer/analyst. "I may be right or wrong, never perfect but I do justice in my own way".

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