So who’s the best player in Europe? Lionel Messi and Virgil van Dijk arrive in Monaco for the Champions League draw as they get set to go head-to-head for the top prize in UEFA’s annual awards
- Alisson and van Dijk had been pivotal in Liverpool’s Champions League triumph
- The Reds lifted the coveted trophy after beating Tottenham 2-0 in the final
- And Jurgen Klopp’s men will discover their new group ahead of title defence bid
- Both players are also nominated for UEFA awards for the 2018/19 campaign
Liverpool stars Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk have arrived in Monaco ahead of Thursday’s Champions League group stage draw.
Both players held a crucial role in the Reds’ triumph in the competition last season – and were also named on UEFA’s shortlist for awards to be announced before the ceremony begins.
Alisson will battle it out with Hugo Lloris and Marc-Andre ter Stegen to be named the best goalkeeper for the 2018/19 European campaign.
Alisson and Virgil van Dijk were pictured arriving in Monaco ahead of Champions League draw
Van Dijk was nominated with fellow Liverpool man Trent Alexander-Arnold for Best Defender
Van Dijk has Matthijs de Ligt and fellow Liverpool man Trent Alexander-Arnold for company in the best defender category.
The Dutch international will also harbour hopes of lifting the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award – although competition is posed by superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The duo were pictured stepping off a helicopter in the principality just hours before their club will discover what European adventures await them in the coming months.
Reds star Alisson, Hugo Lloris or Marc-Andre ter Stegen will be named the best goalkeeper
Top flight sides Manchester City, Chelsea and Spurs are also involved in the draw alongside last season’s European champions – and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admitted he expects a tightly-contested competition once again.
He said: ‘I don’t think there has ever been a stronger Pot 2. It is just crazy! I don’t think there was ever a stronger Pot 3, either. And then Pot 4 you can get Leipzig – wow! The groups will be incredible.’
Last season the Reds were drawn against Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli and Red Star Belgrade, and progressed in second place despite losing three away games in the group.