Virgil van Dijk
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil Van Dijk have been shortlisted for the UEFA Player of the Year award, the sport ’ s European governing body said on Thursday .
While Ronaldo, a three – time winner , has been ever – present in the final three since the award was created in 2011 , centre back Van Dijk makes his first appearance after helping Liverpool win the Champions League title last season .
Van Dijk was voted both the Premier League Player of the Season and the Players ’ Player of the Year, and was instrumental in the Merseyside club ’ s sixth European Cup triumph .
Two- time award winner Messi was the leading scorer in both La Liga ( 36 goals) and the Champions League ( 12 goals ) last season but his Barcelona side fell in the semi – final stage to Liverpool , who overcame a three- goal deficit in the second leg to advance .
Ronaldo , who has won five Champions League titles, did not fare too well in Europe in his debut season with Juventus , the Italian side losing in the quarter- finals to Ajax Amsterdam.
The awards will be presented during the Champions League group stage draw ceremony in Monaco on Thursday August 29.
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