Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk is set for Ballon d’Or disappointment, according to a leaked report in Spain.
The Dutch centre-back was the bookmakers’ favourite to claim the prestigious award, but not any longer with Lionel Messi now as short as 1/8 with Van Dijk a 9/2 shot.
Mundo Deportivo carries a leaked report that a team from France Football, the award’s organisers, travelled to Barcelona over the weekend to interview Messi and inform him of his success.
Messi has hardly had the most glittering of seasons, but it will be the sixth time in his career he has scooped the award if he is announced as the winner on December 2 in Paris.
Van Dijk was crowned UEFA Player of the Year back in August and was the heavy favourite to take the Ballon d’Or award too after a stand out season en route to Champions League glory with Jurgen Klopp’s men.
“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,” Klopp told Reuters.
“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.”
Sadio Mane, Sergio Aguero, Frenkie de Jong, Hugo Lloris, Dusan Tadic, Kylian Mbappe, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Donny van de Beek, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alisson, Matthijs de Ligt, Karim Benzema, Georginio Wijnaldum, Virgil van Dijk, Bernardo Silva, Son Heung-min, Robert Lewandowski, Roberto Firmino, Lionel Messi, Riyad Mahrez, Kevin de Bruyne, Kalidou Koulibaly, Antoine Griezmann, Mohamed Salah, Eden Hazard, Marquinhos, Raheem Sterling, Joao Felix.