Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk is firm favourite to claim this year’s Ballon d’Or.
Van Dijk is in line to become only the fourth defender ever to claim the honour following on from German pair Franz Beckenbauer and Matthias Sammer, whilst the only stopper this century is Fabio Cannavaro.
Van Dijk himself – who was named Player of the Year in England last season – is hopeful of
“If people are talking about it – you can’t say it doesn’t do you something,” Van Dijk said of the Ballon d’Or.
“But it’s a subject we don’t have any influence on. I can’t change anything right now other than get fit, stay fit and that’s the situation.
“Winning something like that is a dream come true for every footballer in the world. If you don’t then you just get on with it and try to perform better than last year.
“It would be fantastic, and I would be very proud but the main thing will be to focus on what we do all together and achieving the bigger goal – that’s getting silverware with the club.”
Van Dijk is now the odds-on favourite at 4/6 with leading bookmaker Coral to win the 2019 Ballon d’Or which will be awarded in Decemver.
Bookmakers are reporting a surge of bets for the Liverpool defender.
The Dutchman tops the betting ahead of Lionel Messi who is 6/4, Cristiano Ronaldo can be backed at 10/1, while Liverpool goalkeeper, Alisson is also 10/1.
“No defender has won the Ballon d’Or since World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro landed the award in 2006, however, the betting clearly now indicates Virgil van Dijk is the favourite to finish ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristinao Ronaldo this year and be crowned the best player in Europe,” said Coral’s John Hill.
“It has been an incredible year so far for Liverpool and we expect many of their players to be in the team of the year, including goalkeeper Alisson who is fourth best in our Ballon d’Or betting following a fantastic opening season in England,” added Hill.