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07th Jun 2019

Virgil van Dijk now favourite to win Ballon d’Or

Kyle Picknell

You’re probably sick of hearing how he good he is by now, right?

Champions League winner and now a UEFA Nations League finalist, at the hands of England, Virgil van Dijk is also the bookmakers’ favourite to be awarded the 2019 Ballon d’Or award.

The Dutchman has had a colossal season at the heart of the Liverpool defence, helping the Merseyside club lift their sixth Champions League trophy and finishing the season with the utterly ridiculous statistic that no player, not a single player, has completed a take-on against him.

In van Dijk’s own words, he still believes Lionel Messi deserves the award, even if Barcelona did crash out of the Champions League at the hands of the Reds in the semi-finals.

The centre back, speaking before the final in Madrid, said: “I think Lionel Messi is the best player in the world. He should win the Ballon d’Or.”

“So I’m not thinking of that. But if I win, I’ll take it. Messi should win it though. He is the best in the world, whether he’s in the final or not,” he added.

According to Oddschecker, van Dijk is now the 8/11 favourite for the award, with Messi close behind at 6/5.

The two players appear to be the only real contenders, with bookmakers placing the next most likely candidates as Liverpool duo Mo Salah and Sadio Mane at 20/1 and Cristiano Ronaldo and Raheem Sterling at 25/1.

Van Dijk and the Netherlands will play against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in the final of the UEFA Nations League at Porto’s Estadio Do Dragao on Sunday, June 9.