Messi beats Van Dijk to be named World Soccer’s Player of the Year for 2019.

Messi has been named World Soccer’s World Player of the Year for 2019 beating out Liverpool defender Van Dijk in a very close vote. While Jurgen Klopp wins the Manager Award, Liverpool win the World Team award.

Lionel Messi is World Soccer’s World Player of the Year for 2019, edging out Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk in one of the closest contests of recent times. It is Messi’s fifth World Soccer award – after victories in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015 – equalling the achievement of his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

Liverpool players featured heavily in the poll, with votes also cast for Sadio Mane (3rd place), Mohamed Salah (6th), Allison Becker (7th), Roberto Firmino (17th) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (19th). In contrast, Frenkie De Jong (8th), who joined from Ajax in the summer, was the only other Barcelona player to feature in the top 20.

Last year’s winner of the World Player award, Luka Modric, finished 44th this time, while Cristiano Ronaldo – a winner in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 – finished in fourth place, ahead of Kylian Mbappe, the French youngster who has eclipsed Neymar at Paris Saint-Germain.

Jurgen Klopp was the undisputed winner of the Manager award with the highest-ever percentage of votes, in acknowledgement of steering Liverpool to a sixth European Cup triumph.

Similarly, Liverpool were the overwhelming winners of the World Team award, with votes also cast for Ajax, Manchester City and USA’s World Cup-winning women’s national side.

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