After winning the Champions League, Reds legend John Barnes has claimed that Virgil van Dijk should be rewarded for an impeccable season with the Balon d’Or, in comments to talkSPORT.
When quizzed on the possibility of Big Virg winning the individual accolade, Barnes replied: “Very possibly.
“Normally when you look at the Ballon d’Or winners, they’re either attacking midfield players or centre-forwards. They are goalscorers and eye-catching players.
“But there haven’t been any of those types of players who have really set the world alight this season.
“So from a point of consistency and from a point of success, for me Van Dijk would have to be the man.”
It’s obviously very hard for us to argue with Barnes.
We would argue that Van Dijk is extremely eye-catching – watching him on the ball, he’s so calm and assured, and there’s nothing quite like a well-timed challenge from a world-class defender.
The last defender to win the Balon D’or was World Cup-winning Fabio Cannavaro back in 2006, but could the Dutch giant buck the trend and claim the prize?
Van Dijk has already claimed the the PFA Player of the Year award and put paid to understandable opinions he is the world’s best defender at the moment.
Virgil Van Dijk has faced…
Messi, Suarez, Coutinho, Dembele, Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, Modric, Neymar, Mbappe, Cavani, Insigne, Callejon, Mertens, Hazard, Kane, Sterling, Aguero, Lewandowski, Ribery and Son.
He has been dribbled past 0 TIMES in the last 64 games.
— Senor (@EnRouteAnfield) June 3, 2019
Despite winning the Champions League and earning gushing plaudits, Lionel Messi is still likely his main rival for the award after scoring 51 goals and providing 22 assists in 50 games for Barcelona.
After winning No. 6, Van Dijk himself said: “I think Messi is the best player in the world. He should win the Ballon d’Or. He’s the best in the world.”
Though they won La Liga, they’ve missed out on the Copa del Rey and were obviously sent crashing out of the Champions League thanks to the miraculous, victorious, irrepressible Reds at Anfield.
Whatever happens with the Balon d’Or, winning the Champions League in Madrid was more important and it’s team trophies like that which will mean more so much more to the club and the fans.
Would be nice for Virg to get the ultimate recognition as an individual player though, wouldn’t it?