Revealed: Van Dijk beat Messi to UEFA POTY by huge number of points
- Van Dijk earned 305 points, Leo Messi - 207, Cristiano Ronaldo - 74.
- The award winner was chosen by 80 coaches and 55 sports journalists.
- Coaches could not vote for players from their teams.
Yesterday's UEFA award ceremony in Monaco was perhaps the clearest sign that there are more greats than just Messi.
It's not just because of Virgil van Dijk and not because of Leo Messi not being named the UEFA Men's Player of the Year. It's about the way the Dutchman won the accolade.
While Virgil, Leo and Cristiano Ronaldo were sitting close to each other, there were huge gaps separating them in the voting scoresheet. Van Dijk earned 305 points while the Argentinian trailed the Dutchman by 98 points and Ronaldo won just 74 points.
The voting procedure is as reliable and fair as it can be. The jury featured 80 coaches of the clubs that played in the Champions League and the Europa League last season. 55 journalists (one from each UEFA member associations) selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group joined them.
Each of those 135 experts picked their own top 3 giving 5 points to the first one, 3 points to the second and one point to the third player. Besides, coaches could not vote for players from their own teams.
The Dutchman is a current Champions League title holder with Liverpool. Besides the UEFA accolade, the 28-year-old won PFA Players' Player of the Year award and reached UEFA Nations League final with the resurgent Netherlands national team last season.
As for Lionel Messi, the Argentinian ended his 2018/19 Champions League campaign as a top goalscorer (12). He was named the UEFA Forward of the Season thanks to his classy display in the tournament.