3 Reasons why Virgil Van Dijk should win the Ballon d’Or ahead of Lionel Messi
With the 2018/19 season coming to an end, all the talks would be about who was the best player this season. It looks like this time two players are in the hunt for the Ballon d’Or and both of them have had an excellent campaign with their teams. Messi is having one the best seasons of his glorious career while Van Dijk has taken defending to a whole new level.
Messi has been an unstoppable force in front of the goal but so has Van Dijk at the back. Not a single player has dribbled past him the whole season!
It would hardly be surprising if Messi goes on to win his 6th Ballon d'Or this season but Van Dijk's performance can’t be ignored. Here are the three reasons which may elevate Van Dijk’s chances of winning the award this season and become the first defender since Fabio Cannavaro to win the award after 12 years:
#1 He has been consistent throughout the season for club and country
In the 59 matches that Van Dijk has played for both club and country this term, hardly have there been any matches in which we could say that he wasn’t up to par. Such consistent has the Dutchman been throughout the season.
He has featured in all the Premier League games for Liverpool and his performances have earned him the PFA player of the season award. In all these matches, Van Dijk has been solid at the back, winning his headers and duels. Not even a single player has managed to dribble past the Dutchman the whole season!
He has also been consistent at the International level. After the Netherlands failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Van Dijk has played a major part in the Dutch team's resurgence. They are now well placed to qualify for Euro 2020 and are also in the semi-finals of the UEFA Nations League.
He and De Ligt have formed one of the best and most feared defensive partnership at the back for their country. If Van Dijk and co-manage to win the Nation’s League and should Messi's Argentina have a poor Copa America campaign, then Van Dijk would surely have a good chance to claim this award.