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

Omnisport
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says his star defender Virgil van Dijk deserves the Ballon d'Or after his brilliant year for the Reds.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says his star defender Virgil van Dijk deserves the Ballon d'Or after his brilliant year for the Reds.

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.

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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.

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