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'Awkward': Virgil van Dijk talks about defeating Barcelona is semi-final last season in front of Lionel Messi

Virgil van Dijk. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Aug 30, 2019, 03.54 PM (IST)

Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk pipped Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi to win UEFA Men's Player of the Year award on Thursday. 

The Reds defender was a vital cog in Liverpool's first major trophy since 2012 last term after defeating Tottenham Hotspur in final. 

During the UEFA awards ceremony, the defender was asked about Liverpool's stunning 4-0 win against Barcelona in the semi-final at Anfield. 

The result sealed a 4-3 aggregate win and a spot in the UCL final. 

However, van Dijk's reply — in front of Barcelona's Lionel Messi — was rather awkward. 

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Van Dijk said, "Anfield played a massive role. After the game in Spain we felt 3-0 wasn't the right result on the night but it was reality. We had to overcome it by doing the unthinkable. 

"I think we had a crazy couple of days, we travelled back and played Newcastle and scored in the last few minutes to get the three points in a close title race. We travelled back from Newcastle and had one day to prepare for the Barcelona game.

"To actually do it, was unbelievable. The atmosphere was outstanding, it was something special and everything clicked on that night. We scored the goals at the right times, it was just a fantastic evening."

Story highlights

Virgil van Dijk was asked about Liverpool's stunning 4-0 win against Barcelona in the semi-final at Anfield