The previous edition of the competition reaped great accolades for players whose performances were rewarded.
The draw for the newest instalment of the UEFA Champions League was completed in Monaco with Europe’s elite getting to know their opponents and in the process, setting up some mouth-watering clashes in the mix.
But it wasn’t before the men and women who shone through the previously held edition were rewarded for their efforts.
Five awards were meted out to men culminating in the final “UEFA Player of the Year Award.”
Goalkeeper of the Year
Alisson Becker (Liverpool/Brazil)– Alisson was unanimously awarded the UEFA “Goalkeeper of the Year” Award on the back of his stellar performances in goal for Liverpool keeping five clean sheets in Liverpool’s sixth European triumph. It was his first time winning the Goalkeeper of the Year Award.
Record holder: Oliver Kahn (Four times)
Defender of the Year
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool/Netherlands)– It came across as no surprise when the Dutchman was awarded the UEFA “Defender of the Year”. He was a rock at the back for both club and country and very deservedly won his first UEFA award. Maybe the first of many more.
Record holder: John Terry (Thrice)
Midfielder of the Year
Frenkie De Jong (AFC Ajax/Netherlands)– Barcelona’s summer signing Frenkie De Jong was awarded UEFA “Midfielder of the Year” for his heroics in an Ajax team where he was the beating heart of the side that made it to the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Record holder(s): Deco/Luka Modric/ Gaizka Mendieta (Twice)
Forward of the Year
Record holder(s): Cristiano Ronaldo/Raul (Thrice)
UEFA Player of the Year(Men)
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool FC/Netherlands)- Such has been the levels of performance from Virgil van Dijk that it was simply a no-brainer that he was conferred as “UEFA Player of the Year” for his stellar performances for Liverpool in the Champions League and the Netherlands in the Nations League.
Record holder: Cristiano Ronaldo (Thrice)
UEFA Player of the Year(Women)
Lucy Bronze (Olympique Lyonnais/England)- Three Lions midfielder Lucy Bronze pipped fellow team-mate Ada Hegerberg to win her first Player of the Year Award.
#EqualGame Award: Hans-Joachim Watzke (Borussia Dortmund) and Scott Cunliffe (Burnley FC RunAway Challenge) were given the #EqualGame Award by UEFA in recognition of their efforts to eradicate Semitism and discrimination from football and Scott Cunliffe’s efforts of running for Burnley’s away matches to raise money for charity respectively.
Give it up for our 2019 #EqualGame award winners ????
???? @BVB for their tireless fight against the far right ????
????Scott Cunliffe for running to every @BurnleyOfficial away game, raising more than €60,000 for charity ????♂️
True role models ???? pic.twitter.com/8CaAWhIXDu
— UEFA (@UEFA) August 28, 2019
UEFA President’s Award- Eric Cantona was conferred with the 2019 UEFA President’s Award. The UEFA President Aleksandr Ceferin praised Cantona’s professionalism and his football charity ventures for which he was recognized with this accolade.