Whenever a new season starts, most players and football fans always aim to win trophies, whether with their clubs or national teams.
Nevertheless, the best footballers always have personal objectives, the attackers battle to finish as the top scorer, while the best goalkeepers aim to keep the highest number of clean sheets. But ultimately, every world-class footballer wants to be known as the player of the season in their respective leagues which usually gives them a good shot at winning the ultimate personal award which is the Best FIFA Men’s player.
That was exactly what Van Dijk did by being named the best player in the English Premier League. The Dutchman was a vital player in Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool team that pushed Manchester City all the way in the Premier League with the third-highest points total in English top-flight history with a whopping 97 points – and being a pillar at the back for his team as they ended the season as champions of Europe. In the same season, he captained his National team, Netherlands in UEFA’s inaugural Nations League tournament, where he put up incredible performances before they eventually lost to Ronaldo’s Portugal in the final.
No defender since Fabio Cannavaro in 2016 had won the prestigious award and many journalists had expected Van Dijk to win the award. But alas, like many other great defenders before him – defenders like John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Sergio Ramos And Raphael Varane – Virgil Van Dijk just fell short.
It’s incredible that the eventual winner, Leo Messi, despite winning the Spanish La Liga for a second successive year and scoring a massive 36 goals in 34 games for Barcelona last season wasn’t considered a deserving winner by the majority of the journalists who casted their votes. Leo Messi is truly a victim of his own greatness.
How They Voted
Of the captains, Messi received 377 votes, ahead of Virgil van Dijk’s 337 and Cristiano Ronaldo’s 330. In the coaches’ count, he got 379 votes, beating Ronaldo (307) and Van Dijk (289).
But it was in the popular vote that he pulled clear, earning 1,359,728 votes to the Portuguese’s 962,919 and the Dutchman’s 704,235. Van Dijk earned 462 votes from journalists to Messi’s 364 and Ronaldo’s 264. Members of the media did favour Van Dijk, though, and this will be a concern to Messi ahead of the Ballon d’Or calendar year award.
Credits: AS, Marca
This Article Was Written by- Princewill Ahante