Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand feels that voters did not make the right decision for choosing Virgil van Dijk for the coveted UEFA Player of the Season Award. According to Ferdinand, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo would have been a much better choice.

The former Red Devil feels that football fans never spend their money to watch a defender play. They would mostly prefer seeing Ronaldo or Messi lift the Best Player trophy as compared to the Liverpool star.

However, Ferdinand also agreed that the Dutch defender played a key role behind Liverpool's consistent run last season. As a matter of fact, van Dijk's brilliance, together with excellent team play helped the Reds lift their sixth Champions League title. The Dutchman's recent performance has even earned him a nomination for the most sought after Ballon d'Or.

Virgil van Dijk

It is the first time in European football history that a defender has been awarded the Player of the Year Award. According to Fox Sports, Ferdinand thinks that the Liverpool centre-back didn't deserve this honour. He went on to claim that people like Messi and Ronaldo consistently score 50+ goals each season. Even during the previous season, Ronaldo won three trophies with his new club, Juventus. He thinks that the voters must have overlooked the contributions of these iconic players.

During his playing years, Ferdinand was a centre-back. He expressed his happiness for his fellow defender and he also feels that as a player, the 28-year-old Dutchman deserves to get recognition from the football fraternity. However, he still believes that he shouldn't have won the award this season when some other players have scored more than 50 goals.

The former United star also claimed that UEFA awarded the trophy to van Dijk just to make sure that the award ceremony doesn't get boring with Messi and Ronaldo winning the honours consistently.

The celebrated Dutch international was able to stay unbeaten for 50 games straight, without an attacker beating him. This feat potentially helped him secure the Player of the Season award. However, Ferdinand believes that people want to see goals being scored, more than witnessing a defender's success. According to him, UEFA has committed a blunder by awarding the most coveted honour to van Dijk.