Last night, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) announced their Player of the Year winners for the 2018-19 season. Netherlands/Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was named the UEFA Men's Player of the Year. Meanwhile, England/Lyon defender Lucy Bronze was named the UEFA Women's Player of the Year.

After the conclusion of the UEFA Champions League group stage draw in Monaco, the UEFA Players of the Year were announced. The Men's and Women's player of the year selection is done slightly differently.

For the UEFA Men's Player of the Year decision, 80 coaches from teams which participated in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League 2018-19, along with 55 journalists picked their top three players. The first picks received five points, second three points and third one point.

Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk Getty

For the UEFA Women's Player of the Year decision, coaches of the 12 highest-ranked teams in the latest UEFA women's national team rankings and the coaches of the eight clubs that reached the quarter-finals of the 2018/19 UEFA Women's Champions League cast their votes. The votes of 20 journalists specialising in Women's football also get counted. The point system is the same as that of the Men's division.

After the casting and calculation of the votes, van Dijk topped the Men's division with 305 points. Lionel Messi came in second with 207 points and Cristiano Ronaldo came in third with 74 points. Messi did not go home empty-handed though, as he won the Forward of the Season title.

Bronze was on top of the Women's division with 88 points. Bronze's Lyon teammates Ada Hegerberg and Amandine Henry came in at second and third place with 56 and 44 points respectively. Bronze is the first defender to win the title since its introduction in the 2012-13 season. No player in the women's division has won the title more than once.

In the Men's division, Messi and Ronaldo have been dominating the title claim. Messi has been named the Player of the Year twice (2010-11, 2014-15). Ronaldo has been named the Player of the Year three times (2013-14, 2015-16, and 2016-17). Luca Modrić was able to break the Messi-Ronaldo monopoly last year. This year, for the second time in a row, the superstar players have missed out on winning the honour of Player of the Year.

Going back home!

— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) August 29, 2019