- Virgil van Dijk has been tipped by compatriot Ryan Babel to be the next defender after Fabio Cannavaro to win the Ballon d’Or
- The Liverpool centre-back enjoyed a remarkable 2018-19 campaign but suffered a defeat to Portugal in the Nations League final
- Pundits insist the reigning PFA player of the year could win many more honours
Virgil van Dijk is tipped to become the next defender after Fabio Cannavaro to win the Ballon d’Or, says Dutch star Ryan Babel, according to Goal report.
The Liverpool centre-back enjoyed a memorable 2018-19 campaign, but suffered a defeat to Portugal in the Nations League final.
At the last count, Van Dijk was in the thick of the action as Liverpool battled for the Premier League silverware until the last day, before winning the Champions League glory in Madrid.
The 27-year-old also captained Holland to Nations League final and has greatly improved since making a record-breaking £75m ($95m) move to Anfield in January 2018.
Pundits insist the reigning PFA player of the year is in line to win many more accolades.
Interestingly, since Italy’s World Cup-winning captain Cannavaro claimed the award, no defender has equaled that landmark.
But former Liverpool winger Babel told Sky Sports that his compatriot is capable of challenging Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi for the 2019 Ballon d’Or.
“The last time I remember a defender winning the Ballon d'Or, it was Cannavaro in 2006. So it's not impossible.
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“I think it is fair that he would at least be on the shortlist.
“We will see in the end if he wins it or not. I would be very happy for him [if he does],” Babel was quoted as saying.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that Virgil van Dijk is closing on two prestigious honours in under nine days.after emerging bookmakers’ top choice to win 2019 Ballon d'Or.
According to Give Me Football report, the Dutchman, who won the Champions League with Liverpool is now a game away from winning the Nations League with Holland.
The centre-back was in the thick of the action as Holland saw off England 3-1 after extra time on Thursday, June 6, no thanks of poor defending from the pair of John Stones and Ross Barkley.
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