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Van Dijk fends off Sterling to be named PFA Player of the Year

Van Dijk fends off Sterling to be named PFA Player of the Year

28/04/2019 at 23:43Updated 29/04/2019 at 09:41

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has been confirmed as the PFA Player of the Year at a glitzy awards ceremony in central London.

Vivianne Miedema won the Women’s Player of the Year award after scoring 22 times to lead Arsenal to their first title since 2012.

Van Dijk becomes the first defender to win the award since John Terry was crowned the winner at the end of the 2004/05 season as Chelsea secured their first Premier League title.

Video - Virgil van Dijk: The supreme calm in the eye of the storm

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Sadio Mane, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva and Eden Hazard were all named on a six-man shortlist, but it is Van Dijk who has claimed the prestigious prize - 16 months on from becoming the world's most expensive defender. Sterling, who has scored 17 Premier League goals this season, scooped the PFA Young Player of the Year award.

Virgil Van Dijk has scored three goals this season and been imperious for Liverpool

Virgil Van Dijk has scored three goals this season and been imperious for LiverpoolPA Sport

Van Dijk, who joined Liverpool from Southampton for £75million in January 2018, has enjoyed a stellar season at the heart of the Reds' defence, helping to keep 20 clean sheets as Jurgen Klopp's side battle it out with Manchester City for the Premier League title.

Van Dijk's success means the trophy remains at Anfield after Mohamed Salah received the individual gong for his brilliant first season with Liverpool - and the Egyptian was among the first to congratulate his team-mate.

City moved back to the top of the Premier League table with a , with Aguero's second-half strike enough to secure a vital three points.

Van Dijk, 27, was joined by team-mates Sadio Mane and Andy Robertson in attendance at the Grosvenor House Hotel, with the trio all named in the PFA Team of the Year.

Meanwhile, Miedema was also nominated for the Women's Young Player of the Year award but that went to Manchester City forward Georgia Stanway.

Miedema said: “I’m obviously really proud to represent my team here. I think we’ve had an amazing year, especially with winning the league today.

“I’m just really happy I could help my team all season long with scoring goals and it means a lot.”

The PFA’s Special Achievement award went to Manchester City and England captain Steph Houghton.

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