Liverpool News: Virgil van Dijk believes Ballon d'Or voters will make the right decision but insists he can still improve his form
What's the story?
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk believes the voters for the prestigious Ballon d'Or will make the right decision in choosing a winner but insists that he can still improve his already-impressive form.
In case you didn't know...
Van Dijk has emerged as an overwhelming favourite for the Ballon d'Or, following his stand-out performances at the heart of the Liverpool defence last season.
The Netherlands international proved to be worthy of every cent of his hefty £75 million fee which Liverpool paid to bring him from Southampton in January 2018.
The 28-year-old was an influential figure as the Reds' defence evolved into one of the best in Europe last term and helped the team concede the fewest goals in the Premier League. His stature, agility, and intelligence made way for the most infamous stat of the 2018-19 season, which claims that he was not dribbled past in any competitive game.
The Dutchman was deservedly named PFA Player of the Year at the end of the previous season and is now a major contender for football's most coveted prize, alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Bernardo Silva.
Van Dijk's exploits have propelled him to the forefront of an era of defenders who are proving themselves to be as worthy of individual awards as attacking players. Should he win the Ballon d'Or at the end of the year, he would become the first defender to do so since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006.
The heart of the matter
Van Dijk has expressed his gratitude for being considered for the Ballon d'Or but insists his focus is on the improvement of his game.
Speaking to reporters, the centre-back said,
"Obviously, I’m honoured to be mentioned as a candidate to win the Ballon d’Or, but the only way I can influence it is to just focus on playing well.
"I don’t have a vote, but I am sure that the guys who do will come up with the right decision when the time is right. If I am picked, then I will be very honoured. But, if I’m not picked, then it won’t be the end of the world.
"Everyone has their opinion, but I feel good, I feel fit and I can keep improving. There is still plenty to improve. The only thing I want to do is keep working and keep giving everything I can in every game.
“In training, as well, I want to be an example for all the players that are coming through the ranks at Melwood. But I must keep getting better. Everyone can get better. That’s how I feel and that’s what I want to do."
After a win over Norwich City in their Premier League opener, Liverpool will head to Istanbul, where they will face Chelsea in the European Super Cup on Wednesday.