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Ballon d'Or News: Liverpool legend backs Virgil Van Dijk for the award 

Athul Boby
04 Jun 2019, 14:35 IST

The Dutchman has been tipped to beat Lionel Messi to football's most coveted individual accolade
The Dutchman has been tipped to beat Lionel Messi to football's most coveted individual accolade

What's the story?

Liverpool Legend John Barnes has backed Virgil Van Dijk to win the Ballon d'Or this year over Lionel Messi. Barnes said that Van Dijk deserves the award due to his consistency throughout the season.

In case you didn't know?

Virgil Van Dijk has been on fire this season, winning the Champions League with Liverpool in Madrid a few days ago. He was one of the key players of the match, keeping the attacking forces of Totenham at bay.

Spurs couldn't get on the score sheet due to Liverpool's defensive dominance. Van Dijk also played a major part in the Semifinals as Liverpool managed to hold off Messi and Co at Anfield in the second leg. The Dutchman posesses an amazing record of not being dribbled past this season. For a player that faced Lionel Messi in the Champions League and many other world class players in the Premier League, this is something inhuman.

After all these wonderful performances, Van Dijk is considered as one of the favorites to win the Ballon d'Or this year. It has been a long time since a defender won the accolade, with the last defender to win it being Fabio Cannavaro in 2006.

Lionel Messi is the biggest competition for Van Dijk in the Ballon d'Or race. The Argentinian ace won the European shoe this year. But Messi's season ended on a bad note, with Barcelona losing out both in the Champions League and the Copa Del Rey. This gives Van Dijk an edge over Messi in the race for the award.

The heart of the matter

Liverpool Legend John Barnes was asked on talksport whether Van Dijk could win the Ballon d'Or. He 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.

Barnes pointed out Van Dijk's consistency as the main reason he could win the award, he said :

“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.”

What's next?

Van Dijk will be joining up with the Netherlands national team in their bid to win the UEFA Nations League. Winning a title with the national team could guarantee the Ballon d'Or for the defender.

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