Van Dijk overtook Messi and Ronaldo

Van Dijk overtook Messi and Ronaldo

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk received UEFA best defender award at the Champions League group stage draw as well as the best player, overtaking Messi and Ronaldo in the race.

Last season, the Dutchman became a key link for Jurgen Klopp’s team in the Champions League victory. Due to the fact that van Dijk came to the team, his partners in defense started playing more securely, which is best noticeable by Joel Matip’s performance. Another van Dijk’s partner, Liverpool’s goalkeeper Alisson entered the list of the best UEFA players, which only confirms the previously said words.

Before UEFA acknowledged the Dutchman the best player of the year, the center-back was awarded by similar title at the Albion from Professional Footballers’ Association. Although Liverpool did not become the champions of England, but the merits of the Reds’ defense admiral cannot be underestimated. Last year he was outplayed in the Premier League after the defender’s transfer to Liverpool a year and a half later.

As for other nominations, Frenkie de Jong became the best midfielder to the European Football Organization, while Lionel Messi took the title of the best forward, who also became the goalscorer of the last season.

The draw showed tha Liverpool will have to meet the Neapolitan Napoli once again, in addition to Austrian Salzburg and Belgian Genk. Jurgen Klopp’s side has great chances on advancement from the group. The odds on the Reds to win the E quartet are 1.44, while on Napoli are 3.25, Salzburg – 9.0 and Genk – 41.0. Also, William Hill bookmaking company reckons that the Reds have chances to defend the title. The team from Merseyside is splitting the third position with Real Madrid and Juventus (8.0) the Catalan Barcelona have the second place (6.0) and first are Manchester City (4.0).