Van Dijk doesn’t fear Messi ahead of Liverpool’s Barca trip

Virgil van Dijk and Vivianne Miedema win PFA player of the year awards

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk wins player of the year award

Virgil van Dijk cherished "the highest honour you can get" as he become only the third defender in Premier League history to be named PFA Player of the Year.

"Van Dijk is just the fourth defender to win the PFA Player's Player of the Year award and the first since 2004", PFA said in a statement.

The 27-year-old has transformed Liverpool's defence since joining from Southampton in January last year for a world record fee of £75 million (S$131.9m) for a defender.

The Argentine talisman has scored 46 goals in all competitions this season, with ten of them coming in the Champions League, but Van Dijk does not fear Messi.

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Sterling missed missed out on the PFA Player of the Year award at the hands of Van Dijk but Sterling did pick up the PFA Young Player of the Year award.

Sterling, who won the Young Player award, was hours later named the Football Writers' Player of the Season. But the world's most expensive defender admits he still has plenty to prove to be considered alongside the continent's elite players, including Barca's five-time Ballon d'Or victor Messi. The big centre back will be hoping to crown a phenomenal personal season by lifting a trophy with his teammates at the end of the season, with the Reds still in contention for the Premier League title, as well as the UEFA Champions League.

His presence at the back has helped Liverpool keep 19 clean sheets and win 28 league games.

"The situation is that we are in the semi-final against Barcelona and we are going to face one of the best players... I won't take it for granted but it's very special".

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He's now played 50 league games for the Reds and during that time they have won 35, drawn 11 and lost just four.

Van Dijk, who also has a Champions League semi-final against Barcelona to look forward to this week, added: "If you see the standard of strikers or playmakers we have in the league, it's unbelievable".

How do you think van Dijk will cope with the likes of Lionel Messi in Wednesday's clash in Barcelona?

I would love to think that is because of me. but obviously its not.

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