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In the Premier League season, the Dutch defender of Liverpool was credited with the award as the Best Player of the 2018-19 Season. Is it the best center on the planet?
According to ESPN, on April 28 Virgil Van Dijk was awarded as the best player in the Premier League in the 2018-2019 season, an award given by the Association of Professional Footballers (PFA). The central defender of Liverpool managed to overcome stars like Eden Hazard, Sergio 'Kun' Agüero and even his teammate and current scoring leader Mohamed Salah. This award confirms what has been a resounding and outstanding campaign of Van Dijk, who seems to be at its best, at the level of being cataloged the best center that plays in Europe.
Leer en español: Virgil Van Dijk impone respeto entre los futbolistas del mundo
Virgil Van Dijk acaba de ser seleccionado como el Mejor Jugador de la Premier League 2018-2019 por la PFA.— Killers Del Area (@SomosLosKillers) 28 de abril de 2019
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In December of 2017, Van Dijk arrived from Southampton after Liverpool will pay an immense figure of 85 million euros for the Dutch, making it the most expensive defense in history. Although the price drew criticism, the coach of the "Reds", Jurgen Klopp, said after his signing that "The first thing Liverpool fans should forget is the price, let's talk only about the player, what he can contribute, his qualities, their mentality, their character, all that, and that is why we are very happy, "according to the UEFA website.
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Van Dijk was able to demonstrate his quality, with essential characteristics in any defense: proper positioning, precision and safety to cut aerial and crawling balls, a height of 1.93 meters that allows him to prevail in the passing game (4 of the 5 goals made this season were with the head), a strong composure that makes him win the physical duels against the rivals, but also, the Dutchman stands out for his character and leadership when he is in the defensive line, all these qualities have caused that during his more than 45 matches this season with Liverpool, has never been dribbled by any rival, according to Who Scored statistics, being the only defense to have that number, likewise, Liverpool is the second least-scored club in the major European leagues, conceiving only 20 goals in 36 matches (the first is Porto with 19 goals in 31 games).
Virgil van Dijk, mejor jugador del año para la PFA.— Esto es Premier™ Magazine (@EstoEsPremier) 29 de abril de 2019
However, to occupy the throne of the best center of Europe, they must overcome other respected defenders such as Sergio Ramos, who this season has suffered a drop in quality in conjunction with the merengue team, which has conceded 39 goals in the league, in the that Spanish has been the cause of defensive errors, equally his age -33 years-could already be a disadvantage compared to Van Dijk. Other defenders such as Piqué, Chiellini, and Bonucci also have the disadvantage of age, in addition to this last season have decreased their accuracy in interceptions and regularized defensive errors.
If there is a central defender who could compete in terms of quality with Van Dijk, it would be his teammate Matthijs de Ligt, who at the age of 19, has also proved to be an authority in the defensive area, however, the experience he has won the Liverpool with his 27 years makes it the safest and successful in his position, at least during this season, in fact, between the aforementioned central, Van Dijk has the best defensive average according to Who Scored, which through statistics per game take into account the interceptions, fouls committed, offsides caused, blocks, dribbling received, spaces allowed among other defensive aspects, being the defender of Liverpool the one with the best defensive number this season.
LatinAmerican Post | Juan Bacallado
Translated from "El nombre que impone respeto entre los defensores del mundo: ¡Virgil Van Dijk!"