Jurgen Klopp reacts to Liverpool FC’s Virgil van Dijk winning the PFA award

Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp says to PFA player of the year Virgil van Dijk: You're the man

Virgil van Dijk (Photo: Sky Sports / YouTube)
Virgil van Dijk (Photo: Sky Sports / YouTube)

Jurgen Klopp hailed Virgil van Dijk as “the man” after the Liverpool FC defender won the PFA player of the year award on Sunday night.

The Netherlands international was honoured with the personal accolade voted for by his fellow peers after a sensational season at Liverpool FC.

The world’s most-expensive defender has helped to transform Klopp’s defence over the past 18 months despite initial criticism of his transfer fee.

Liverpool FC signed Van Dijk in a club-record £75m deal to improve their poor defensive record since Klopp took over the reins.

The Reds have only conceded 20 times in 36 games in the English top flight this season to challenge for the top-flight crown with Manchester City.

Van Dijk has managed to bring out the best in his fellow defensive colleagues Alisson Becker, Joel Matip, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and Joe Gomez.

And his manager recorded a special message for Van Dijk to be played at the awards ceremony, paying tribute to the Dutch centre-half’s impact.

Klopp said in the video played at the PFA awards: “I’m really proud it’s the second time in a row I can speak about a wonderful player who won the award for Player of the Season: Virgil van Dijk.

“Who would have thought that when he started back in Holland? I think not everybody saw immediately what kind of player hides in this giant body.

“But now the whole world is aware of that and I’m really happy I can be a little bit around that development. I would love to think it’s because of me! But obviously it’s not, he was already the player he is now when we bought him from Southampton.

“It all worked out. From the first moment I was so excited about the opportunity to work together and now you are the man – at least for this season!”

Liverpool FC will take on FC Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final at Camp Nou on Wednesday night.

The Reds will return to Premier League action with a trip to Newcastle United on Saturday evening.

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