Van Dijk thanks Celtic following PFA Player of the Year announcement

Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and Virgil van Dijk during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Port

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Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk and compatriot Vivianne Miedema pulled off an unprecedented double at the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) awards Sunday, becoming the first winners of both the men's and women's Player of the Year awards to hail from the same country.

8 - Van Dijk became the eighth Liverpool player to win the award, joining Terry McDermott (1979-80), Kenny Dalglish (1982-83), Ian Rush (1983-84), John Barnes (1987-88), Steven Gerrard (2005-06), Luis Suarez (2013-14) and Salah. The defender is now the captain of Holland and at £75m the player still seems like a bargain for Liverpool.

That Liverpool are competing in the latter stages of the Champions League once again comes as little surprise to Virgil van Dijk.

Scoring 23 goals in 53 games across all competitions, it was the captain's best goalscoring season to date and his long-range strike in injury time of the FA Cup final against West Ham United will go down as one of the great goals of the competition's history.

The Netherlands worldwide became the second Liverpool player in as many seasons to be named player of the year, joining team-mate Mohamed Salah.

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The 27-year-old has helped Liverpool keep 19 clean sheets and concede only 20 times, while also chipping in with three goals.

Virgil van Dijk moved to Liverpool in January 2018 in a transfer deal that made him the world's most expensive defender.

"I think he is the best player in the world, I have said that before", Van Dijk said about Messi.

"I'm very happy how I perform at the moment, how consistent I'm performing, that I'm fit as well".

'All the players in the league, I think, want to play for trophies, want to get trophies, ' he added.

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"I won't take it for granted, but it's just very special, definitely".

"I think from the outside it looks so hard and the boys deliver and deliver and deliver - that's the cool thing".

There is no chance of that happening on Wednesday night, with the Argentina global being handed generous periods of rest by coach Ernesto Valverde in the games leading up to this Champions League semi-final first leg, but Van Dijk is relishing the prospect.

"He said: "[Klopp] gives confidence.

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