Nations League: UEFA Unveil Team of the Tournament With Surprise Snub for Virgil van Dijk

UEFA have unveiled their team of the Nations League finals, with the Netherlands and Portugal possessing four representatives each and Switzerland and England left to battle it out for the remaining three spots.

And, while Switzerland won that particular battle 2-1, despite losing the third-place playoff to Gareth Southgate’s side, the biggest omission was undoubtedly Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk.

The towering centre back, who has been tipped for the Ballon d’Or following his Champions League success with Liverpool, was snubbed by UEFA’s panel, despite the fact that three spots were up for grabs in the centre back position.

Opting for a conservative 5-2-3 formation, Van Dijk was ignored in favour of Switzerland’s Borussia Dortmund centre half Manuel Okanji, Portugal’s Ruben Dias and Ajax’s transfer saga-embroiled Matthijs de Ligt.

Okanji’s club teammate Raphael Guerreiro, who was victorious on Sunday with Fernando Santos’ side, and BSC Young Boys’ Kevin Mbapu rounded up the rearguard on the left and right flanks respectively. 

Behind that five-man backline was England’s sole representative, Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, whose penalty shootout heroics from both the spot and goalline were the principal reason for their third-place finish.


The midfield was unsurprisingly dominated by the Dutch, with Atalanta’s Marten de Roon and Barcelona’s soon-to-be orchestrator Frenkie de Jong taking two of three spots, and football’s most versatile man, Bernardo Silva, fresh from Premier League triumph with Manchester City, nabbing the third. 

This left two spots up top, though in reality there was really just one, with Cristiano Ronaldo having effectively sewn up his spot with that semi-final hat-trick against the Swiss. Sunday’s victory set this in stone, leaving former Manchester United man Memphis Depay with a compensatory nod to complete the star-studded side.


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