Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has commented on Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk potentially winning the Ballon d’Or this year.
The Netherlands international has enjoyed a remarkable rise in the last couple of years, becoming briefly the most expensive defender in football history, winning the Champions League, winning PFA Player of the Year, and winning Uefa Men’s Player of the Year.
Van Dijk could quite conceivably pick up the Ballon d’Or next despite it being very rare for defensive players to lift individual prizes like this.
The award has long been dominated by both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, while midfielder Luka Modric won it last year.
Ramos believes Van Dijk could deserve it, though, and says he is happy to see that it’s no longer only forwards who are in the running to win the trophy.
‘Van Dijk is a great centre back, he’s played a very, very good season and if he’s still there it’s because he deserves it,’ Ramos is quoted by the Metro.
‘We always talk about the Ballon d’Or… Cris [Cristiano Ronaldo] and [Lionel] Messi.
‘The fact that the chances are wider now for players other than forwards makes me happy.’
Liverpool fans will surely be backing their star man to pick up this illustrious honour, even if most of them would happily trade it for their club going all the way in more competitions this season.