Today’s drawing for the 2019-20 Champions League group stages was a bigger deal than normal for Liverpool with UEFA also handing out awards for last season’s best players, with five of the twelve positional finalists all hailing from the Reds.
With Alisson Becker one of the goalkeeper finalists along with Sadio Mané at forward, Jordan Henderson in midfield, and Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk both up for the best defender prize, a few pieces of silverware seemed certain.
And in the end they were, with Alisson beating Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris and Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen to the goalkeeper prize while Van Dijk beat out his teammate and ex-Ajax centre half Matthijs de Ligt for top honours at the back.
In midfield, Jordan Henderson wasn’t able to beat Frenkie de Jong, another ex-Ajax player part of last year’s exceptional run for the Dutch club. The other finalist for midfielder of the season was Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen.
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi was the expected winner from the trio of forwards up for that award along with Liverpool’s Sadio Mané and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo.