Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was named PFA Player of the Year for 2018-19 on Sunday with Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling winning the Young Player of the Year award.
Van Dijik expressed disbelief upon grabbing the award to be become only the fourth defender in more than 40 years to be crowned the Professional Footballers’ Association’s player of the Year. Chelsea’s John Terry was the last defender to win the award 14 years ago.
“It’s pretty difficult to put into words,” Van Dijk said. “I think it’s the highest honour you can get as a player to get voted player of the year by the players you play against every week. It’s special. I’m very proud and honoured to receive it.” He added. The Dutchman further said that the award proves defending is as important as attacking.
The 27 year old Dutchman has helped Liverpool keep 20 clean sheets this season, having joined Reds from Southampton for a record transfer fee of £75m.
Other players who had been shortlisted for the award include, Sadio Mane, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva, and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.