Van Dijk crowned Uefa's best player

Virgil van Dijk beat Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the men's UEFA Player of the Year award.

The Dutch defender won the award ahead of Barcelona's Lionel Messi, who lost out on a place in the competition's final to the Reds after leading the tie 3-0 after the first leg.

In addition to the overall UEFA Player of the Year awards which took into account all competitions, both at club and global level, UEFA also handed out men's 2018/19 Champions League awards for the best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and forward.

"I need to thank my team-mates, without them I would not have achieved what I have achieved". I'm proud to get that trophy and it's a credit to everyone who helped me along the way.

Ronaldo and Messi, who have dominated the game's individual awards for the past decade, sat next to each other at the Uefa event, and Ronaldo reflected on no longer being in direct competition with the Argentine in the Spanish league. The midfield maestro took top honours after delivering stellar performances in Los Blancos' fourth Uefa Champions League triumph in five years and starred in Croatia's run to the 2018 Fifa World Cup final.

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Burnley fan Scott Cunliffe was joint victor of the UEFA #EqualGame Award, which honours those who highlight diversity, inclusion and accessibility in football.

"Obviously, pre-season doesn't say too much but we know how good they are".

"It was a special year", said the 34-year-old. "We push each other and it's good to be part of the history of football", the Portuguese star said.

Full-back Bronze won the Women's Champions League title with Lyon before helping England reach the women's World Cup semi-finals.

Alisson Becker, beat Tottenham's Hugo Lloris and Barcelona's Marc ter-Stegen Liverpool's safe hands won the UEFA Goalkeeper Award.

  • Lawrence Cooper