Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema won the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year awards for the 2018/2019 season.
The 27-year-old Dutch international beat teammate Sadio Mane, Manchester City trio Bernardo Silva, Sergio Kun Aguero and Raheem Sterling to win the accolade.
Van Dijk who joined the Reds in January 2018 for a world record fee of £75m for a defender from Southampton has helped Liverpool keep 19 clean sheets from their 36 league games this season, 28 of which they have won.
“It’s the highest honour you can get as a player to get voted player of the year by the players you play against every week,” said Van Dijk, who has managed to be on target thrice and provide two assists during this season.
“It’s special. I’m very proud and honoured to receive it,” he added.
On a similar note, Arsenal’s 22-year-old Vivianne Miedema beat Steph Houghton, Nikita Parris, Keira Walsh, Erin Cuthbert and Ji So-yun to win the female players’ honor.
In the other categories, Raheem Sterling won the men’s Young Player of the Year while Manchester City’s England forward Georgia Stanway claimed the women’s young player prize and England captain Houghton took home the PFA Special Achievement award.
Van Dijk takes the award in succession of Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah (2017/2018 winner) but also becomes the first defender to win it since Chelsea and former England centre-back John Terry in 2004-05.