Klopp says Van Dijk is standout candidate above Messi for Ballon d'Or glory

By Sports Desk November 24, 2019

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says Virgil van Dijk should beat Lionel Messi to Ballon d'Or glory next month.

Dutch defender Van Dijk has had a stunning year with Liverpool, helping the Reds win the Champions League in June.

They narrowly missed out on last season's Premier League title but are heading the chase for domestic glory in England this term after an unbeaten start.

Klopp can see why Barcelona superstar Messi would be a popular choice for the individual honour, because of his career accomplishments.

But rather than give a sixth Ballon d'Or to Messi, Klopp believes there is a strong case for Liverpool's defensive talisman to walk away with the trophy at the Paris ceremony on December 2.

Real Madrid's Croatian playmaker Luka Modric was last year's winner of the prize, which is awarded annually by France Football magazine.

Klopp said: "If you give the Ballon d'Or to the best player of this generation, then you can give it always to Lionel Messi, that's how it is.

"But if you give it to the best player of last season, then it was Virgil van Dijk.

"So I don't know exactly how it will work, but that's how I see it.

"If it's for the best player of all, then it's Lionel. The best player of last season, it's Virgil. We will see."

Van Dijk also helped Netherlands to qualify for Euro 2020 this year, while Messi featured as Argentina finished third at the Copa America.

Related items

  • Arsenal bring in Runarsson following Martinez's departure Arsenal bring in Runarsson following Martinez's departure

    Arsenal have confirmed the signing of goalkeeper Alex Runarsson from Ligue 1 club Dijon in a deal reportedly worth just over £1million (€1.1m).

    The Gunners were left short of a back-up goalkeeper after Emiliano Martinez left to join Aston Villa last week.

    Martinez had impressed at the end of last season and helped Arsenal win the FA Cup and Community Shield, but left for Villa Park in search of regular first-team football.

    With Bernd Leno now the undisputed number one, 25-year-old Runarsson has been brought in to serve as deputy.

    "We want to create healthy competition for places and we look forward to seeing Alex bring further depth to the goalkeeping position," said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.

    Runarsson, an Iceland international, will wear the number 13 shirt.

    Arsenal's technical director Edu added: "We're very pleased to welcome Alex to our squad. We have been monitoring him for some time and from the analysis, he has strong attributes that we look for in a goalkeeper and as a person."

    The Gunners have picked up where they left off from last season, winning both of their opening Premier League fixtures against Fulham and West Ham respectively.

  • FIFA lifts restrictions from JFF following successful review FIFA lifts restrictions from JFF following successful review

    FIFA has lifted financial restrictions imposed on the Jamaica Football Federation last year.

  • Rubiales re-elected as RFEF president Rubiales re-elected as RFEF president

    Luis Rubiales has been re-elected unopposed as the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

    Rubiales is set to serve a four-year term, with his return to office a formality after former Spain captain and 2010 World Cup winner Iker Casillas withdrew his candidacy in June.

    The 43-year-old took on RFEF's top job in May 2018 after predecessor Angel Maria Villar was sacked amid corruption charges.

    He quickly became embroiled in controversy on the eve of the 2018 World Cup, sacking Julen Lopetegui after the Spain coach was announced as Real Madrid boss for the start of the 2018-19 season.

    Under caretaker boss Fernando Hierro, Spain limped to a last-16 exit on penalties against hosts Russia.

    Rubiales then clashed bitterly with LaLiga chief Javier Tebas over the latter's desire to stage a Spanish top flight game in the United States, while the country's top two football administrators have rarely seen eye to eye.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.