Former Manchester United and Liverpool man Paul Ince thinks Virgil van Dijk deserves to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or.
A three-way battle for global honours has ensued for the prestigious Golden ball trophy and title of Ballon d’Or winner 2019.
Van Dijk beat both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the UEFA player of the year award, while they also vie for the FIFA Best award too.
The Dutch centre-back had a phenomenal season at the heart of the Liverpool defence and was pivotal in the success of their 2018/19 season.
It culminated in a Champions League winners medal.
Messi and Ronaldo have had a stranglehold on the UEFA, FIFA and Ballon d’Or awards for years now. Although it is hard t argue with players that average over a goal a game in a season while plying their trade at the very top.
But Paul Ince disagrees, with the continuity and wants to see things changed up a bit.
Ince told betting website Paddy Power:
“The thing is about the Ballon d’Or is that we always go with the same people. It’s either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo winning it, isn’t it really?”
“But there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be a defender. Virgil van Dijk has been exceptional this year, but I also thought Raheem Sterling should be up for it.”
“It’s a tough one because Man City still won three trophies, while Liverpool only got one in the Champions League, and yet Sterling’s not even mentioned as a potential winner.”
“That baffles me. It really, really does.”
“It would make a nice change for Virgil van Dijk to win the award rather than just being Messi and Ronaldo all the time.”
“I don’t believe Ronaldo’s been overly great anyway.”
“But, the great players are the ones who score goals and that’s why people always say, Messi or Ronaldo.”
“I know Luka Modric won it last year, but I think what Van Dijk’s done with Liverpool has been phenomenal.”