Ballon d'Or: Van Dijk one of seven Liverpool players in running for top award

By Sports Desk October 21, 2019

Virgil van Dijk is been joined by six Liverpool team-mates in the 30-man shortlist for the 2019 Ballon d'Or, while Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are also present.

Van Dijk played a vital role as Liverpool won the 2018-19 Champions League, producing several standout performances at the heart of Jurgen Klopp's defence en route to the title, making him one of the favourites for major individual awards.

He was pipped to The Best FIFA Men's Player award by Barcelona star Messi, who will surely be Van Dijk's biggest competition for the Ballon d'Or having inspired a Barca side many consider underwhelming to the league title.

Fellow Reds stars Sadio Mane, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah, Alisson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino all join Van Dijk on the list.

Ajax captured the imagination of neutrals in Europe's elite competition last term, reaching the semi-finals in stunning fashion before dramatically going out to Tottenham, and a couple of players from the Amsterdam's club are nominated.

Donny van de Beek and Dusan Tadic are in the running, while Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt - who have since moved on to Barcelona and Juventus respectively - are also included.

Elsewhere, Premier League champions Manchester City are represented by Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero 

Tottenham's Son Heung-min and Hugo Lloris are included from the losing Champions League finalists' ranks, but there is no place for Harry Kane or Christian Eriksen.

Last year's winner Luka Modric also misses out following a below-par year for Real Madrid, as does Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar.

The Ballon d'Or winner will be named in Paris on December 2.

Meanwhile, De Ligt is one of 10 youngsters nominated for the Kopa Trophy, awarded to the best performing player under the age of 21.

Borussia Dortmund and England winger Jadon Sancho is listed for the prestigious accolade and Joao Felix - signed by Atletico Madrid from Benfica for €126m earlier this year - is also in contention.

Four contenders for the Yachine Trophy ply their trade in the Premier League, with Alisson, Ederson, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Lloris included on the 10-man shortlist.

The likes of Jan Oblak and Marc-Andre ter Stegen are also battling it out to win the new award, which is handed to the best goalkeeper of the past 12 months.


Full list of Ballon d'Or nominees:

Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Dusan Tadic (Ajax), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Donny van de Beek (Ajax), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Alisson (Liverpool), Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona), Mohammed Salah (Liverpool), Eden Hazard (Real Madrid), Marquinhos (Paris St-Germain), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid).

Related items

  • Rashford hails England's 'frightening' attacking arsenal Rashford hails England's 'frightening' attacking arsenal

    Marcus Rashford believes England's "frightening" attacking talent can power the World Cup semi-finalists to a successful Euro 2020.

    Gareth Southgate's side cruised through qualifying for next year's tournament, winning seven of eight matches and scoring 37 times.

    Only once before – in 1908 – have England struck more goals in competitive matches in a calendar year than the 38 scored in 2019.

    Question marks remain over certain positions in the starting XI but in Rashford, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling there looks to be a defined and dangerous attacking trio.

    "I think it is a good combination," said Manchester United forward Rashford.

    "But we have played games without that particular front three and it is frightening what we can do as a group of attackers.

    "I think all of these games are just gearing you up for the summer and if we go into the summer anywhere near the sort of form we have been in recently then it will be a successful tournament."

    Rashford was among the scorers as England signed off from qualifying with a 4-0 win over Kosovo on Sunday.

    Jadon Sancho, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi, who started in Pristina, are among those pressing for spots, while Jamie Vardy could add another element to the squad if the in-form Leicester City striker reverses his international retirement.

    Rashford said: "I have been in two tournaments now and the squad is so important.

    "With the qualities that every individual has in this team, it is something we have to use to our advantage. People are going to be playing at different moments but when you are on the pitch you have to do your best and try to come up with the goods.

    "It is good competition. We really do have that kind of environment when we are in the camp together and it is positive."

  • Pele and the 'milesimo': 50 years on, why his 1,000th goal still matters Pele and the 'milesimo': 50 years on, why his 1,000th goal still matters

    It was the year of Easy Rider, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Midnight Cowboy, Kes and The Italian Job; Abbey Road, Let It Bleed, Dusty In Memphis and Kick Out The Jams.

    OK boomer.

    Woodstock was a totemic cultural moment in 1969 - but so too the first flight of the Boeing 747, the wedding and bed-in of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, the Stonewall riots and the first manned Moon landing, Neil Armstrong and all that jazz. And jazz. Miles Davis’ classic In A Silent Way split critics down the middle.

    There was Monty Python's television debut but also the Manson Family murders and the ongoing Vietnam War. The US magazine Life revealed at least 12 million Americans had experimented with marijuana.

    All very adult, magic meets toxic; spaceman versus off your face, man.

    Little wonder then, that when Pele scored his 1,000th career goal on November 19 of that year he begged the world to please think of the children. The babes of US boomers may have been treated to the very first broadcast of Scooby Doo on CBS in September, but Pele knew the kids in Brazil were still being sold short as the end of the decade drew near.

    "For the love of God, people," the 29-year-old Pele said in Rio de Janeiro, on that historic night. "Now that everyone is listening, help the children, help the helpless. That's my only wish at this very special time for me."

  • Rumour Has It: Pogba prefers Juve over Madrid, Pochettino nears Tottenham exit Rumour Has It: Pogba prefers Juve over Madrid, Pochettino nears Tottenham exit

    Paul Pogba has decided where he wants his next move to be, while Mauricio Pochettino is nearing a Tottenham exit.

    Pogba, 26, was linked with a Manchester United departure during the close season but ended up staying at Old Trafford.

    However, the France midfielder's future remains a talking point.

     

    TOP STORY – POGBA PREFERS JUVENTUS RETURN OVER MADRID MOVE

    Pogba would prefer to return to Juventus but would not say no to Real Madrid, according to Tuttosport.

    The Serie A champions and LaLiga giants were the two clubs most heavily linked with a move for Pogba – who is contracted until 2021 – during the close season.

    A potential Juve deal for Pogba could see Mario Mandzukic head to Manchester United, the report says.

    ROUND-UP

    - Pochettino has held "crisis talks" with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy as he nears an exit, according to The Telegraph. Spurs have struggled this season and sit 14th in the Premier League table through 12 games.

    - While Mandzukic is wanted by United, Borussia Dortmund are ready to compete for the striker, according to Kicker. Mandzukic starred during two seasons with Bayern Munich before leaving the Bundesliga in 2014.

    - Spain have offered Luis Enrique a chance to lead the nation at Euro 2020, according to AS. The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have called a news conference for Tuesday, with Luis Enrique reportedly set to replace Robert Moreno at the helm.

    - Manchester United are preparing to try to sign both Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and RB Salzburg's Erling Haaland in January, according to Goal. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to try and strengthen his squad with United nine points adrift of the top four in the Premier League.

    - Chelsea attacker Willian and Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz have slowed contract talks with their respective clubs amid interest from Barcelona, according to Mundo Deportivo. Willian is out of contract at season's end, while Fabian's deal runs until 2023.

    - Manchester City are considering making a move for RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, according to the Mirror. The Premier League champions lost Aymeric Laporte to a knee injury in September and may look to strengthen, although the Frenchman is expected to be back in early 2020.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.