Liverpool

John Barnes: Virgil van Dijk deserves to win the Ballon d’Or

Assessing this Liverpool team and what they have become under Jurgen Klopp, where do you even start?

From defence to attack, there is quality everywhere. Undoubtedly, the Reds are worthy European champions.

But for one former Liverpool man, there is a standout player, a player who he is now tipping to win the 2019 Ballon d’Or.

“Possibly,” John Barnes told talkSPORT when asked if Virgil van Dijk could win the prestigious award.

“Normally when you look at the Ballon d’Or winners, they’re either attacking midfield players or centre-forwards. They are goalscorers and eye-catching players. But there haven’t been any of those types of players who have really set the world alight this season.

“So from a point of consistency and from a point of success, for me Van Dijk would have to be the man.”

With it being another season where Lionel Messi has easily surpassed the 40-goal mark, perhaps it is a bit over an overstatement to say no forward player has set the world alight.

That being said, van Dijk still deserves to be in the conversation. And if he does go on to win the individual honour like Barnes has tipped him to do, no one can say he does not deserve it.

Easily the best player in his position, the Netherlands international was monumental in Liverpool’s Champions League triumph in Madrid and their overall run in the competition.

As seen in previous years, knockout tournaments such as the Champions League and World Cup have proven to be extremely influential factors in the voting process rather than league form.

Bearing that in mind, van Dijk, who was also incredible in the recently concluded Premier League campaign, is undoubtedly in with a shout.

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John Barnes: Virgil van Dijk deserves to win the Ballon d’Or
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