Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Lyon’s Lucy Bronze win UEFA’s player of the year awards
It was a good night for defenders as Liverpool's Virgil Van Dijk and Lyon's Lucy Bronze won the UEFA player of the year awards for the 2018/19 season.
Van Dijk beat football icons Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to scoop the men's gong, while Bronze beat her club teammates Ada Hegerberg and Amandine Henry.
The prizes were given on Thursday after the UEFA Champions League draw in Monaco.
Dutch defender Van Dijk arrived on Merseyside in January 2018 for a club-record fee of £75million.
Since joining Liverpool he has significantly improved the team's defence and helped the team to Champions League glory last season.
Liverpool conceded just 20 goals in the Premier League last year, keeping 20 clean sheets.
According to stats from Opta, in the 36 games Van Dijk played last year, no opposition player managed to complete a single dribble past the 27-year-old.
He was also crowned the Premier Leagues best player at the end of season awards, winning PFA Player of the Year.
It is rare for a defender to win this award. Fabio Cannavaro was the last one to do so in 2006 after he'd won the World Cup with Italy.
Luka Modric won in 2018, breaking the dominance of Ronaldo and Messi.