The race for the 2019 Ballon d’Or is hotting up. Virgil van Dijk, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi are expected to be the frontrunners for the award and one Real Madrid star has picked his favourite, snubbing former teammate Ronaldo in the process.
Real Madrid star Sergio Ramos snubbed his former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo while choosing the winner of 2019 Ballon d’Or. The Spaniard instead opted for fellow defender Virgil van Dijk, stating that the Dutchman deserves to win it based on ‘sufficient merit’.
“If Van Dijk wins it, it will be on sufficient merit – great defender,” Ramos said. (via Daily Mail)
“As a defender, it’s harder. It seems as though it’s not just Messi and Cristiano. It seems there’s a route opening.”
Van Dijk is expected to be given company in the top three by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Liverpool star beat the duo at the UEFA Player of the Year awards recently and is also expected to do so for The Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award.
The Dutchman is coming into the 2019/20 season on the back of a remarkable campaign, one which saw him lift the UEFA Champions League and finish second in the Premier League. He was also chosen as the best player during the latter’s 2018/29 season.
Van Dijk was unbeatable last season, with no player being able to dribble past the Dutch international. The Liverpool centre-back faced Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Eden Hazard among others but got the better of all of them.