Virgil Van Dijk Received £750,000 In Bonuses For Clean Sheets Last Season
Virgil van Dijk made £750,000 in bonuses for keeping clean sheets in the Liverpool backline last season.
The Dutchman was in sensational form during the campaign, winning both the PFA Player of the Year and UEFA Men's Player of the Year after a series of imperious displays as the Reds pushed Manchester City all the way for the Premier League title and won their sixth European Cup in Madrid.
Going into the season, it's said that the former Celtic and Southampton defender set a target of keeping 22 clean sheets and he ended up going four better by keeping 26 in all competitions.
As a result, his shut-out successes saw him collect an extra £750,000 thanks to a 'complex bonus structure' according to The Mirror, citing details published by Football Leaks a few months after he joined Liverpool.
A very tidy bonus indeed for the 28-year old, though at the same time you'd have to say Liverpool will have been pretty happy to pay out.
Van Dijk, who became the world's most expensive defender when he made the £75 million switch to Anfield, is contracted to the club until 2023.
However, reports say the Reds have offered him fresh terms on a new contract and his wages will soar up from £125,000 per week to £200,000 per week.
The new contract offered, said to be partly triggered by Harry Maguire's £80 million world-record transfer to Manchester United, would eliminate the Netherlands international's dependency on his add-ons and bonus clauses.
The Groningen youth product will now be one of the best-paid defenders in world football but it hasn't always been plain-sailing for him.
After becoming the first defender to win the UEFA Men's Best Player award last month, Van Dijk stressed that his success did not come overnight.
"I wasn't 18 and went straight to the top," the Dutch defender said.
"I had to work every step of the way. It's been a long road and it's part of my journey. I'm very proud to get this trophy. It's credit to everyone who has helped me."