Van Dijk, 28, was preferred to two former winners, Argentina's Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo. Eden Hazard (Chelsea, transferred to Real Madrid during the summer) is ranked seventh.
The Dutchman takes over from Croatia's Luka Modric. He is the first Dutchman and the first defenseman to win this trophy, awarded since 2011. Messi was elected in 2011 and 2015 and Ronaldo in 2014, 2016 and 2017. Spaniard Andres Iniesta (2012) and Frenchman Frank Ribéry (2013) ) are also on the list of this award.
The English Lucy Bronze has been rewarded in the ladies. She was preferred to her two Olympique Lyonnais teammates, Norway's Ada Hegerberg and France's Amandine Henry. Bronze was not present in Monaco because it faces Belgium in friendly with his national team in Leuven Thursday evening (7:30 pm). Lyon has managed the treble Champions League-Cup-Champions League last season.