Virgil Van Dijk’s focused on Barcelona, not Ballon d’Or

Rike Nooitgedagt and Virgil van Dijk- Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk rewarded for near-perfect season with PFA Player of the Year award

Virgil van Dijk lauded Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp's impact on his development after winning the PFA Players' Player of the Year award.

Known for his aerial prowess, passing and leadership qualities, Van Dijk did not always look destined to become the formidable presence for both club and country he is today.

The former Wales striker scored 32 goals in 41 league matches (47 in 65 across all competitions), as Liverpool completed a historic treble that season by winning the league title, the League Cup and the European Cup.

Voted for by his fellow professionals, the 27 year old Dutch defender, ensures that the reds have back to back players of the year for the first time since Dalgish and Rush won it in 1983 and 1984.

Well, a certain PFA Player of the Year victor has given some insight on the matter and it sounds like he has no fear of the incoming Messi. But you see how we play and how we defend.

Van Dijk has marshalled a defence that has conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League this season.

Barcelona await in the semi-finals, starting with tomorrow's first leg at the Nou Camp.

Liverpool has kept a Premier League-high 20 clean sheets this season, a key reason why the team is only a point behind Manchester City with two games to go.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has joked that he has been exclusively responsible for Virgil van Dijk's impressive impact at Anfield. You deserve the award, no doubt about that, but I think you agree there could have been three, four, five, six more players in the Team of the Year with a Liverpool shirt on.

Mo Salah, last year's victor, was one of the first players to comment on social media about his teammate. Responding to these comments, the defender remained pretty level headed, as he said: "I'm very happy with how I'm performing at the moment, how consistently I'm performing, and that I'm fit as well".

I think he is the best player in the world.

"I won't take it for granted, but it's just very special, definitely".

Special Achievement award victor Houghton, 31, is set to lead the Lionnesses at this summer's World Cup in France, having won 104 caps for her country to date.

Nikita Parris made it a City double after being named FWA Women's Footballer of the Year.

"He said: "[Klopp] gives confidence.



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