It’s one major award apiece for Virgil van Dijk and Lionel Messi, with the ultimate individual honour – the Ballon D’Or – still to play for.
Van Dijk was crowned UEFA Player of the Season in August, while Messi landed the FIFA Best Men’s Player of the Year award on Monday.
But the bookies still have the Liverpool man as the favourite for the Ballon D’Or.
This is because, as beIN Sports correspondent Tancredi Palmer points out, the votes of journalists will be decisive.
Van Dijk edged Messi among the football media in the voting for the FIFA prize, with the Argentine ahead in the player, coach and fan stakes.
FIFA #TheBest assigned
25% players voting
25% coaches voting
25% fans voting
25% journalists voting
Messi won players, coaches, fans.
Van Dijk won journalists.
Ballon d’Or assigned by journalists
— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) September 23, 2019
It would be a remarkable achievement for Van Dijk, given that only three defenders have won the award since its inception in 1956.
He will almost certainly become the first Liverpool player to make the top three since Fernando Torres back in 2008, and could become the first since Michael Owen in 2001 to take it back to Anfield.
We will have to wait until the early part of December to find out.