Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hailed Virgil van Dijk’s UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award as a prize for his players.
Van Dijk enjoyed a superb 2018/2019 season, helping Liverpool to UEFA Champions League glory and captaining Netherlands to the Nations League final.
The defender edged out Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win the award in Monaco on Thursday.
Klopp was quick to laud Van Dijk’s individual displays but pointed out his triumph was one that would not be possible without all of Liverpool’s squad.
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“Brilliant! It’s really big. I wanted to call him immediately, but he had to go on stage. I’m so happy for him,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official website .
“I’m happy for us as well because he knows that without the boys around him, he cannot win that prize.
“It’s a prize for all of us – but we send our big man there to get it. It’s really rare for a defender. Yes, we all love goals – we want to score them and see them – but more and more and more people get excited about defending.
“Virg is an exceptional defender, in the moment 100 per cent the best defender in the world, so he deserves that prize absolutely.
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