Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says his star defender Virgil van Dijk stands out among the top contenders for the 2019 Ballon d’Or, and should be so crowned on merit on December 2 when the organisers stage the award ceremony.
Aside van Dijk, six-time world best footballer award winner (FIFA Ballon d’Or and FIFA The Best Awards combined) Lionel Messi; five-time king, Cristiano Ronaldo; as well as van Dijk’s Liverpool teammates, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah; PSG’s Kylian Mbappe, among others, are being touted as top contenders for the 2019 Ballon d’Or crown.
Klopp insists that not even Lionel Messi, on merit, can win it ahead of van Dijk, for obvious reasons.
“If you give the Ballon d’Or to the best player of this generation then you should give it always to Lionel Messi. That’s how it is,’” Klopp said.
“But if you give it to the best player of last season, then it was Virgil van Dijk.
“I don’t know exactly how it will work but that is how I see it.
“The best player of all? That’s Lionel. Best player of last season? That’s Virgil. We will see.”