Virgil Van Dijk suggests that this it’s time for a defender to be a Ballon D’or winner, the Dutch defender is among the contenders to win it.
Virgil Van Dijk had a phenomenal season with Liverpool, as he won a Champions league title, and fell only one point below Manchester City in the Premier league race.
His exploits in England propelled him to win the Players’ player of the year award this season, and Premier league player of the season. Thus, the 28-year-old player is leading in the race to win the upcoming Balon D’or.
Across all competitions, Van Dijk made 50 appearances, kept 26 clean sheets, conceded 34 goals and didn’t lose a single one-on-one duel.
Hence, Van Dijk now believes that the player preventing goals shall receive equal credit to the players, who score. In a conversation published on Liverpool’s website. The Dutch International made his statement.
“To get the PFA Player of the Year is a fantastic honour,” Van Dijk told Liverpool’s official website. “It’s the highest honour you can get because it’s voted by your fellow peers.”
“I said it back then as well, I would trade it for the Champions League. Luckily, I didn’t have to. It’s an honour if people are talking about [the Ballon d’Or], but what can I do? I have no influence on anything.” he further said.
“I can’t deny I had a pretty good season last year, so the only thing I can do now is just focus on the new season, getting fit, stay fit and hopefully get an even better season than I had last year.”
“I can understand the fact that normally strikers or No. 10’s win these awards because it’s more attractive to see. But maybe the time has come to change it.” he concluded.
It’s been 13 years since any defender last won a Balon D’or award, probably this is the time, where domination of attackers are reduced, and other aspects being considered ahead.
Nevertheless, Van Dijk can expect stiff competition from Liverpool teammates Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, not to mention the perennial candidates in Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
How twitter reacted
Van Dijk favourite to win Balon d’Or
Rival fans: “bUt hE dIDn’t wIN ThE lEaGue”
— Mark (@Mxrk_Teahan) July 16, 2019
Wait and see how good he's going to be in his 2nd season. He'd be my Balon D'or for 2019 just ahead of van Dijk
— Naveed Ahmed (@naveedciao) July 19, 2019