After finishing second to Lionel Messi in The Best FIFA Player of the Year award for 2019, Virgil van Dijk was not among the top three this year. But the Liverpool star still had a small say in which way the award went in 2020.
As the captain of the Netherlands National Team, van Dijk had a vote in the poll to decide the best player and best coach of the year.
In terms of the player award, the Liverpool defender voted for three current team-mates of his, at his club.
Senegalese forward Sadio Mane, Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah and Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara were Virgil van Dijk's three picks for the best player of the year, in that order.
Mane and Salah, along with van Dijk, were crucial in Liverpool winning their first league title in 30 years. The Reds were dominant in the 2019-20 season, amassing 99 points in the Premier League, to finish 18 points above Manchester City in second place.
Salah and Mane scored 19 and 18 goals respectively in the league last season.
As for Thiago, he was part of a Bayern Munich squad that won a treble last season, culminating in the UEFA Champions League final in Lisbon in August. Thiago was the Man of the Match in the final, as Bayern beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-0, thanks to a goal from Kingsley Coman.
As it turned out, none of the three players that Virgil van Dijk voted for finished in the top three. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo once again made the top three, but were beaten to the award by Robert Lewandowski, who had a stellar season in that treble-winning Bayern Munich side.
Virgil van Dijk votes for Jurgen Klopp as best coach
Despite Bayern winning the treble, it was eventually Jurgen Klopp who won The Best FIFA Coach of the Year award, and Virgil van Dijk was one of those voters who had the Liverpool manager as their top pick.
The Dutchman himself has been a massive component in the Klopp revolution at Liverpool, so it might not come as a surprise that he voted for the German.
Hansi Flick and Zinedine Zidane rounded off the picks that van Dijk made for the Coach of the Year award.
Eventually, the top three for the best coach award were Klopp, Flick and Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa.Published 19 Dec 2020, 13:22 IST