Ruud Gullit: Why Virgil van Dijk never going to win Ballon d'Or | inside World Soccer


Ruud Gullit: Why Virgil van Dijk never going to win Ballon d'Or

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Virgil van Dijk attends The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019 at the Teatro Alla Scala on September 23, 2019 in Milan, Italy
Photo: Claudio Villa/GETTY IMAGES

Dutch legend Ruud Gullit believes Virgil van Dijk will never win the Ballon d'Or ever despite pushing Lionel Messi close in 2019.

Van Dijk is undeniably the best centre-back in world football at this current moment in time.

The 28-year-old has been an inspiration for Liverpool since joining them from Southampton for a reported £75 million in January 2018.

After winning the Champions League and coming desperately close to securing the Premier League title, the Dutchman was considered one of the favourites to win the 2019 Ballon d'Or.

However, van Dijk had to settle for the runner-up spot as Barcelona talisman Messi claimed the prize for a record sixth time.

Messi got 686 points, whilst van Dijk won 679, making it the closest vote in recent memory.

But if the former Celtic star continues his incredible form, which could see Liverpool win a first league title in 30 years, then surely the 2020 Ballon d'Or has his name on it?

Well, not according to Gullit, who claims his fellow countryman will never win the prestigious award due to his playing position.

Speaking to JOE at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin, Gullit said:

The message of the Ballon d'Or was, he's never going to win it again.

I think he should (have won). But, you know, you can't say Messi didn't deserve it either.

But if there was a possibility to make a stand for a defender, it was this year.

Gullit, who won the award in 1987, is not surprised to have seen van Dijk snubbed, considering no centre-back has won the award since Fabio Cannavaro did in 2006.

(Arrigo) Sacchi already said that van Dijk couldn't win it because, otherwise, (Franco) Baresi should have won it already.

If Baresi didn't win it, why should he win it? That's what he said. He didn't say he didn't deserve it, but he said they're never going to give it to a defender. That's what he said, and that's a pity.

That's why I say, it almost looks like they say "Look, you're never going to be a contender anymore for the Ballon d'Or".

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