On Thursday, August 29, the Champions League draw for the group stages will be made but that is not the only major event.
The winner for the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year will also be announced on the same day as the group stages draw will be made.
The various UEFA award winners will be announced during the draw ceremony in Monaco, including Men’s Player of the Year, Women’s Player of the Year and specific position awards for the men’s game.
The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Virgil Van Dijk have all been shortlisted for the award for the best UEFA player of the year.
The Argentine skipper, Lionel Messi was the top goalscorer in last season Champions League and the top scorer in all of Europe. He also won the La Liga title with Barcelona in the 2018/2019 season.
Cristiano Ronaldo won the UEFA Nations League with Portugal and emerged as the goal king of the tournament.
The 34-year-old also won the Serie A with Turin-based club, Juventus in his first season after moving from Real Madrid in the summer of the last season.
Among the list of these proven goal machines is the Liverpool centre-back, Virgil Van Dijk of Netherlands.
The Dutch defender guided the Reds to Champions League glory and also helped the Netherlands to finals of the UEFA Nations League- a trophy he eventually lost to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal.
He was also instrumental as the Merseyside club came second to Manchester City with just two points.
Here is the list of the nominated footballer and in the Champions League, Europa League and the Women’s Champions League:
UEFA Men’s Player of the Year
- Lionel Messi, Barcelona
- Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus
- Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool
UEFA Women’s Player of the Year
- Lucy Bronze, Lyon
- Ada Hegerberg, Lyon
- Amandine Henry, Lyon
Champions League Goalkeeper of the Season
- Alisson Becker, Liverpool
- Hugo Lloris, Tottenham
- Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Barcelona
Champions League Defender of the Season
- Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool
- Matthijs de Ligt, Ajax (currently at Juventus)
- Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool
Champions League Midfielder of the Season
- Frenkie de Jong, Ajax (currently at Barcelona)
- Christian Eriksen, Tottenham
- Jordan Henderson, Liverpool
Champions League Forward of the Season
- Sadio Mane, Liverpool
- Lionel Messi, Barcelona
- Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus
Europa League Player of the season
- Olivier Giroud, Chelsea
- Eden Hazard, Chelsea (currently at Real Madrid)
- Luka Jovic, Eintracht Frankfurt (currently at Real Madrid)
With the awards coming up, journalists at Citi Sports shared their thoughts on who they believe deserves the award as UEFA Men’s Player of the Year.
Virgil Van Dijk deserves to win the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year because he managed to lead his team to the finals of the major UEFA competitions of the year in review.
I agree that Ronaldo and Messi may score all the goals for their teams but Van Dijk was equally valuable down the other side for Liverpool and the Netherlands.
In Liverpool’s most important game against Barcelona in the semi-final, Van Dijk was massive and in the final, he was named Man Of The Match.
Between the Champions League and the Nations League, it is quite obvious which one has the most value and that was the one in which Van Dijk was very dominant for his team.
“Virgil Van Dijk should win the award.
He was outstanding and even though, we can and probably obsess over Ronaldo and Messi over what they offer in terms of goals, Van Dijk’s impact on Liverpool cannot be overlooked in any way.”
Fentuo Tahiru Fentuo:
I think Lionel Messi deserves it. He had an incredible last year, he may not have won the Champions League last year but if you score 51 goals in 50 games in all competitions for Barcelona, that is a ridiculous return.
And when we speak about Messi, the statistics alone don’t do him justice. He basically carries an entire team.
Ronaldo didn’t have a great year in terms of his numbers which makes him such an important player.
Yes, he won the Serie A with Juventus and scored 28 goals in over 40 appearances and that is not the greatest year of Ronaldo.
And Virgil Van Dijk, yes he helped Liverpool concede just 22 goals all season in the Premier League, which in England is the least by any team.
I don’t think in Liverpool he is their best player and if you are not the best player in your own team, how then are you the best player in the rest of Europe.
Cristiano Ronaldo to me should win that category.
Lionel Messi was in typically brilliant form last year, leading Barcelona to a league title, scoring lots of goals and creating more along the way but UCL and international setbacks knock off a few vital points for me.
Van Dijk is a fine defender and played a key role in Liverpool’s march to European glory and Holland’s Nations League campaign but you could argue that Mane was a more important player for the Reds and that the Dutch’s rise was largely a team effort.
Ronaldo might not have won the Champions League but he was a major reason Juventus got as far as they did. In Serie A, his player of the season award says everything. He was also part of Portugal’s Nations League winning side.
For a 34-plus-year-old to still be as influential as Ronaldo was in a new league and for his country as well is phenomenal
Bernard Esar Ebo Osei:
“I think Cristiano Ronaldo should win the award.
Basically, because he once again helped Portugal win an international trophy which in this case is the maiden UEFA Nations League- beating a Van Dijk Netherlands.
Yes, he didn’t score 40 goals but he scored 28 goals in like 40 games or more.
I feel Juventus were very unfortunate to have been eliminated the way they were eliminated but with Portuguese moving from Spain to Italy, scoring 30-40 goals wasn’t going to be easy.
But in all, he still did well and the two trophies should be enough guarantee to make him win.”