Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk has revealed he is flattered by the Ballon d’Or talks and it would be nice to see a defender win it for the first time since 2006.
It has been over a decade since a defender won the most prestigious individual award in world football. Former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro was the last defender to win the award in 2006 after he led Italy to their fourth world cup.
Since then, the award has been won by midfielders and attackers. However, Van Dijk is on course to break that trend following a brilliant season with Liverpool and Netherlands.
The 27-year-old was influential in Liverpool’s champions league success while he was also named the PFA player of the year after helping Liverpool finished second in the premier league with 97 points-a point behind eventual champions Manchester City.
On the International scene, he led Netherlands to the final of the inaugural nations league where they lost narrowly to Portugal.
His performances over the course of last season have made him the bookies favourite for the big award, and it is something he hopes he can win.
Speaking to Skysports, Van Dijk revealed he has thought about it but admits it’s something he has no control over.
“If people are talking about it – you can’t say it doesn’t do you something,” Van Dijk, who was voted the PFA Players’ Player of the Year for the past season.
“But it’s a subject we don’t have any influence on. I can’t change anything right now other than get fit, stay fit and that’s the situation.
"It would be fantastic, and I would be very proud." 😎
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) July 23, 2019
“Winning something like that is a dream come true for every footballer in the world. If you don’t then you just get on with it and try to perform better than last year. “It would be fantastic, and I would be very proud.
“But the main thing will be to focus on what we do all together and achieving the bigger goal – that’s getting silverware with the club.”