Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 August 2019

Virgil van Dijk votes for Raheem Sterling to win PFA Player of the Year

Liverpool defender and Manchester City forward are the leading contenders to win the end-of-season individual accolade

Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool will face Porto in the Uefa Champions League quarter-finals, first leg on Tuesday. Reuters
Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool will face Porto in the Uefa Champions League quarter-finals, first leg on Tuesday. Reuters

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has revealed he voted for Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling for the PFA Player of the Year Award.

Van Dijk, 27, is the favourite to win the end of season accolade after playing a crucial role in Liverpool's title challenge and transforming a previously brittle defence into the meanest in the Premier League.

Van Dijk's biggest competition for the award is likely to come from England forward Sterling, who has scored 15 league goals as City aim to defend their title.

"I voted for Raheem Sterling," Netherlands captain Van Dijk told reporters. "I did what I thought and I thought he deserves it. He's had a fantastic season.

"I could have voted for Bernardo Silva as well and another couple of players from Manchester City. But I'm just being honest. I think he has improved a lot as a player."

PFA rules prohibit players from voting for their teammates.

Liverpool, who have kept 17 clean sheets in the league this season, are also still in the hunt for the Uefa Champions League trophy and play Porto in the first leg of their quarter-final later on Tuesday.

Van Dijk said he was focused on winning with the team, not on individual accolades.

"Individual trophies? I don't know," he added. "Of course, you're going to be proud, that's something you have to be, but all the hard work in the training ground is something we all did together.

"It is to win something as a team, a collective thing as a club. Hopefully that is something that will happen."

Updated: April 9, 2019 10:39 AM

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