Honours: FA Community Shield (2022), FA Cup (2022), Carabao Cup (2022), Premier League (2019-20), Champions League (2019), UEFA Super Cup (2019), FIFA Club World Cup (2019)
Virgil van Dijk has established himself as one of the finest defenders in world football since joining Liverpool in January 2018.
The powerful Netherlands international, who combines a graceful reading of the game with a dominant physical skillset, has helped the Reds lift every major trophy available to date.
He played every single minute of the 2019-20 Premier League campaign as Liverpool gloriously and emphatically ended their wait for the title with a club-record 99 points.
A constantly imposing presence in the backline, Van Dijk also weighed in with five goals, including a vital double against Brighton & Hove Albion and the opener past Manchester United at Anfield.
The historic season also saw the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup added to the trophy cabinet – the latter for the first time.
The No.4 had previously been a key figure as the Reds clinched a sixth European Cup at the conclusion of his first full season with the club.
Victory over Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid secured the first piece of silverware at Liverpool for Van Dijk, who also missed just 35 minutes of Premier League action in 2018-19 as Jürgen Klopp’s side finished second with 97 points.
He was an outstanding presence at the heart of the defence as the Reds eliminated Bayern Munich – against whom he scored in a crucial second-leg win in Germany – as well as FC Porto and FC Barcelona on the road to a second successive Champions League final.
And there was redemption in the showpiece as Van Dijk and co bounced back from their defeat by Real Madrid a year earlier to see off Spurs 2-0 and lift the trophy at Estadio Metropolitano.
Such was the Dutchman’s imperious form throughout the campaign, he was voted PFA Players’ Player of the Year by his peers and also collected the Premier League Player of the Season award.
The centre-back had served notice of his potential for consistency at the highest level during his opening half-season with the Reds, which began with a winner past Everton at Anfield and ended with that loss against Real in Kyiv.
Van Dijk had previously built his reputation in the Premier League with Southampton following spells at Willem II, FC Groningen and Celtic.
In the opening weeks of the 2020-21 campaign, he sustained a serious knee ligament injury against Everton that required surgery and then rehabilitation for the remainder of the season.
But the defender returned in commanding fashion for 2021-22, signing a new long-term contract and then featuring in 51 of Liverpool’s 63 matches in all competitions as they added the Carabao Cup and FA Cup to their trophy haul while also finishing runners-up in the Premier League and Champions League.
Van Dijk’s outstanding personal form was acknowledged by his inclusion in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year and subsequent nomination for the 2022 Ballon d’Or, an award for which he was voted second place three years earlier.