UEFA will name its Men’s Player of the Year today with Liverpool Virgil van Dijk up against Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi for the award.
Last year, Luka Modric all over Ronaldo and Messi’s dominance of the award – and Van Dijk is hopeful of feat the couple empty-handed once more after a stellar season with the Reds. Just however sensible have the 3 contenders been over the past year?
It is a battle as old as time itself – approximately it can feel. Once it involves the shortlists for best player trophies – whether or not in Europe or the planet – Messi and Ronaldo are on them for the simplest part of the last decade.
Since the beginning of the Uefa Men’s Player of the Year award in 2011, Ronaldo has won it thrice (2014, 2016, 2017), whereas Messi has won it twice (2011 and 2015).
The combine are running yet again after an extraordinary seasons. Ronaldo helped Juventus win Serie A, whereas Messi led Barcelona to the La Liga title.
Between thirty one July 2018 and 31 July 2019, Messi was far and away the deadlier finisher for club and country. throughout that 12-month period he scored fifty four goals to Ronaldo’s thirty one and boasted a goals-per-minute magnitude relation of eighty six minutes, compared to 127 for his Portuguese rival.
Messi conjointly did far better than he would be expected to try and do with the opportunities that came his way, rating slightly below fifteen additional goals than his expected goals tally (35.62) for Barcelona. Ronaldo, meanwhile, scored twenty eight goals, just about on par together with his expected goals total (28.3).
Widening out the comparison to the remainder of Europe, Messi outscored all his rivals – his nearest rival, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, scored eleven goals fewer than the Argentina international with forty.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, was outscored by eight players in Europe’s prime 5 leagues whereas his total of twenty one league goals was bettered by 3 players in Serie A. Van Dijk has been a revelation for metropolis since change of integrity from Southampton and was an integral a part of the facet that won the Champions League last season and pushed ultimate Premier League champions Manchester town all the manner. A defender has never won the award before therefore for the Dutch international to be within the running against Messi and Ronaldo is already a giant accomplishment.
But will he be topped Europe’s best player? Let’s take a glance at his statistics from 2018-19.Van Dijk created a complete of fifty nine appearances for club and country last season, rating 9 goals and providing four assists. He conjointly contend additional minutes for metropolis (4,465) than the other tract player. all told competitions, meanwhile, he won over seventieth of his duels and aerial battles, underlining his importance at the center of the defence.
Liverpool conceded fewer goals (22) than the other Premier League facet last season and Van Dijk was key to it as he won seventy six.3% of his duels within the league. Compare that to alternative defenders in Europe’s prime 5 leagues and, of the 293 defenders to be concerned in two hundred or additional duels in 2018-19, no player won a better proportion than Van Dijk.
It was solely to be expected that metropolis boss Jurgen Klopp would be singing his defender’s praises when the Reds ignored Premier League rivals Arsenal 3-1 on Sat, however the previous Borussia Dortmund boss feels it’s the correct time for a defender to be recognised as Europe’s best.
“Modern soccer ought to be a touch additional open for these items,” he said.“We don’t got to speak near to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. If we say last season, Virgil deserves it; if we say period career, then Messi and Ronaldo fight for it.“It is sweet for youths to ascertain you’ll be anyone notwithstanding you merely defend.”