Virgil van Dijk intends to soak up every moment of the Best FIFA Football Awards as he goes up against Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for a top prize again.
The Liverpool defender saw off competition from Messi and Ronaldo to claim the 2018-19 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year accolade last month.
At tonight’s ceremony in Milan, the same three players are vying for the Best FIFA Men’s Player honour, while Reds boss Jürgen Klopp is shortlisted for Best FIFA Men’s Coach and Alisson Becker is in contention for Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper.
#MondayMotivation | Who will be lifting this trophy later today? #TheBest | #FIFAFootballAwards https://t.co/T0vGNDOo92— FIFAcom (FIFA.com) 23rd Sep 08:17
“It’s special to be here,” Van Dijk told Liverpoolfc.com shortly after arriving in Italy. “It’s also very special to be here with the gaffer and Alisson. And we’ll see what it’s going to bring us.
“It’s obviously amazing to get recognition for the season we all had last year, including with my country. To be here is something I’m definitely proud of, I’ll enjoy every bit of it. We’ll see who’s going to get that trophy.”
The trip to Milan comes off the back of another significant win for Liverpool, their 2-1 success at Chelsea on Sunday representing a 15th consecutive Premier League victory.
And Van Dijk reiterated his view that individual plaudits serve as recognition for the club and national teammates who perform alongside the players nominated.
Asked specifically about Joel Matip following his Man of the Match display at Stamford Bridge, the Reds No.4 said: “We call him Matop because he was that good yesterday!
“We need everyone, that’s the message everyone knows in the team. Yesterday he was outstanding, as were all the players. It was a massive win. We do it all together.
“In this vote, the country plays a part as well and I’m very proud that things have been going well at Liverpool and in our country things have been going in the right direction too. We have to all keep it going, that’s the only way forward.”
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