Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has told the club’s official website that Virgil van Dijk deserved to win the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year for the 2018-19 campaign.
Van Dijk won the prestigious individual award for his performances for Liverpool in the Champions League last season.
The Reds won Europe’s premier club competition in 2018-19, getting the better of Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the final in Madrid.
The 28-year-old Netherlands international central defender made 12 appearances in the Champions League for Liverpool last season, scoring two goals and providing two assists in the process, according to WhoScored.
Liverpool midfielder Wijnaldum, who himself played a key role in manager Jurgen Klopp’s side becoming the European champions last season, has raved about Van Dijk, and has said that he is not surprised by what the Dutchman does anymore.
Wijnaldum told Liverpool’s official website about Van Dijk: “I was not surprised when Virgil won the UEFA best player award ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I actually expected him to win it. Virgil has had a blinder of a season and has been so successful. Nothing about him surprises me anymore.”
Brilliant signing for Liverpool
Van Dijk has been on the books of Liverpool since January 2018 when he joined from Southampton for a transfer fee reported by BBC Sport to be worth £75 million.
The Dutchman has been a rock at the back for the Reds, and his presence has transformed Liverpool from top-four challengers to title contenders in the Premier League.
Liverpool are at the top of the Premier League table at the moment with 12 points from four matches, two points clear of second-placed and defending league champions Manchester City.
The Merseyside outfit will return to action next weekend when they take on Newcastle United at Anfield in the Premier League.