Virgil van Dijk beat the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win this year's UEFA Player of the Year. The Dutchman was the superstar for Liverpool last season as they claimed their sixth Champions League title. The Merseyside club's fortunes have had a massive turnaround since van Dijk joined them from Southampton in 2018.
The Dutchman has incredible stats in the Premier League, and there was not one attacker in England who managed to dribble past him until recently.
He's been worth every penny for Liverpool who splashed £75 million and making him the most expensive defender at that time.
Since then, he's won the PFA Player of The Year, the Premier League Player of the Season, the UEFA Player of the year, the UEFA defender of the Year, and is in contention to win the Ballon d'Or. You might know him as the best defender in the league, the difference-maker for Liverpool, but here are five things you might not know about Virgil van Dijk.
#5 His boyhood club was Barcelona
The Dutchman might have been one of the reasons why Barcelona were knocked out of the Champions League last season, but it might come as a surprise to you that Van Dijk supported Barcelona as a child.
Barcelona have always had some of the best Dutch players of their generation, like Johann Cruyff, Ronald Koeman, and Frank de Boer, but Van Dijk was instead fascinated by Barca's Brazillian legends Ronaldo and Ronaldinho.
"I watched Barcelona a lot when I was younger, and not just for the Dutch players. It is a beautiful club", the defender had said in an interview while he was still playing for Scottish side Celtic.
A young Van Dijk was a huge admirer of the Brazilians and their samba style of play. He believes it's because of him trying to copy Ronaldinho in his boyhood days that he became so technically adept with the ball.