Liverpool defender, Virgil Van Dijk, has been named as the fastest player in last season’s UEFA Champions League.
The Dutch defender outran the likes of Lionel Messi, Gareth Bale, Kyle Walker and Leroy Sane, to record the fastest sprint in the competition, in which he helped The Reds win their sixth European title.
Van Dijk, who was recently named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year, recorded a 34.5km/hr sprint speed in Liverpool’s first-leg semi-final defeat to Barcelona, according to UEFA ’s technical report.
The Netherlands international also helped his country to the final of the Nations League, before the ‘Orange Boys’ lost to Portugal in the inaugural tournament.
He, alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the three finalists for The Best FIFA Men’s Player award, with the winner to be announced on September 23.
Barcelona led 3-0 in the first-leg match of the semi-finals against Liverpool, during which Messi began to move forward with the ball. His Barcelona team-mates, Jordi Alba and Luis Suarez were on his either side as the passing options.
It was at that point that the former Southampton player star made the sprint to get back in defence, and prevented the Argentine from having the space to pass the ball.
His pace saw him narrowly edge out Manchester City star, Leroy Sane, who recorded a 34.4 km/h speed against Hoffenheim.
Behind Van Dijk and Sane was Walker, also from City, who clocked 34.2 km/h in his team’s game against Tottenham Hotspur in the quarter-finals, while Real Madrid star, Bale, came fourth with a 33.8 km/h sprint against AS Roma.