The Ballon d’Or ceremony is almost upon us, the award is set to be handed out on the 2nd of December. For over a decade the trophy was shared by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Luka Modric broke that dominance last year. Liverpool have had a phenomenal seven players shortlisted for the title. Jürgen Klopp has named the only way in which Lionel Messi would beat Virgil van Dijk to the Ballon d’Or.
The Anfield gaffer told Reuters:
“If you give the Ballon d’Or to the best player of his generation, you give it always to Lionel Messi, that’s how it is. If you give it to the best player of last season then it was Virgil van Dijk. I don’t know exactly how it will work but that’s how I see it.”
What RTK has to say
This appears to be the key debate surrounding the award this season. Many believe that Big Virg deserves the prize on merit whereas there is a distinct worry that Messi will snatch it based on his godly reputation alone.
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It would be harsh on the Dutchman if he lost out on the gong. Since arriving at Liverpool, the centre back has been imperious at the back, single-handedly sorting out a Reds defence that was leaky and letting down a lethal front line.
If Lionel Messi beats Virgil van Dijk to the Ballon d’Or then it is a damning condemnation of the integrity of the award. Whilst the Argentinian has been in terrific form in the last year, if he were to gazump the defender then it would be sycophantic of the judges to say the least. This isn’t a popularity contest.