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Liverpool Boss Jurgen Klopp Backs Virgil van Dijk to Win Ballon d'Or Ahead of Lionel Messi

Liverpool Boss Jurgen Klopp Backs Virgil van Dijk to Win Ballon d'Or Ahead of Lionel Messi
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes Virgil van Dijk deserves to win the 2019 Ballon d'Or ahead of Lionel Messi or anyone else.

The 30-man shortlist includes Van Dijk's Liverpool teammates Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Alisson, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Roberto Firmino.


Messi remains firmly in contention for a sixth Ballon d'Or though and did edge out Van Dijk for FIFA's The Best award in September, claiming eight more votes than the Dutchman. While Klopp is a massive fan of the Argentine, he believes that Van Dijk has performed better over the past year and deserves to win the award.

"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."



Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d'Or, ending Cristiano Ronaldo's stronghold over the award last year but failed to make the shortlist for the prized piece of silverware this year. If Van Dijk wins, he will be the first defender since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006 to claim the Ballon d'Or.

The Reds are currently cruising in the ​Premier League, having not lost a single game, and sit nine points ahead of second-placed ​Leicester City.

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