Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has insisted there will be “no losers” when the Ballon d’Or winner is announced in Paris on Monday.
The Premier League star ranks among the leading contenders to take home the most coveted individual honour in European club football.
Barcelona captain Lionel Messi looks most likely to claim the award, but the five-time winner faces stiff competition from Van Dijk.
The bedrock on which Liverpool built their Champions League triumph, the 28-year-old also captained his country to the Nations League final and was named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year in August.
“I am going to be there for a reason and there are no losers on the evening,” Van Dijk said.
“I am very proud to be in that bracket, to be in there for the way I performed with the team last year and also with the country.
“It is just something to be proud of because not a lot of players go there and are up for these kind of things.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 30, 2019
While a win for Van Dijk would be his first, another for Messi would move the incredible Argentinian clear of Cristiano Ronaldo and into outright first on the leaderboard.
The 32-year-old scored the lone goal for Barca in a 1-0 LaLiga win over Atletico Madrid on Sunday, his 11th in all competitions this term.
Atletico midfielder Saul Niguez was left exasperated by the attacker’s brilliance.
“We played a great game, [Barca] did not have many chances, but then Messi appears and does what he does with terrible ease,” Saul said.
“That is why he is the best.”
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