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    Sunday, September 1, 2019

    Ferdinand Slams Decision to Crown Virgil van Dijk

    Van Dijk was handed the award on Thursday(Image: ALEXANDRE DIMOU/EPA-EFE/REX)
    Former Machester United defender Rio Ferdinand has questioned the decision to award Liverpool’s defender Virgil van Dijk as the European player-of-the-year.

    Van Dijk was nominated alongside forwards Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and pipped both to the prize – which is voted for by journalists and coaches from elite clubs.

    The Liverpool defender helped his team to win the Champions League back in June after a solid season in defence.

    But despite his impressive displays for the Reds, Ferdinand believes the Dutchman shouldn’t have won the award,

    “There’s no doubt Virgil van Dijk is the best defender on the planet right now,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.

    “But listen, when a man scores 50 goals in a season like Messi did, or Cristiano winning trophies like he did and the effect he’s had in a new championship and at national level – you can’t look beyond that.

    “People saying it’s a bit boring those two winning it every year, but they are putting up numbers we haven’t seen before for 12 to 15 years. You can’t look beyond that.

    “I’m a centre-half and I’m delighted he’s won it but when you’ve got someone scoring 50 goals a season you can’t do that. They’re the best.

    “Messi and Ronaldo have been penalised for the standards they’ve set it’s become boring for some people.”
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