There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding this years’ Ballon d’Or ballot, as Virgil van Dijk was already picked as Europe’s best player ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Most people feel as if the award should be handed to a striker, as they’re the ones that make a bigger impact in the game with their goals and assists.
However, some people, including Liverpool’s legend Paul Ince, don’t see why a defender couldn’t be the best player in the world and take the Ballon d’Or home:
“The thing is about the Ballon d’Or is that we always go with the same people. It’s either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo winning it, isn’t it really? But there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be a defender. Virgil van Dijk has been exceptional this year, but I also thought Raheem Sterling should be up for it. It’s a tough one because Man City still won three trophies, while Liverpool only got one in the Champions League, and yet Sterling’s not even mentioned as a potential winner. That baffles me. It really, really does,” Ince told Paddy Power.
Moreover, the former Liverpool great went on to take a shot at Cristiano Ronaldo on his campaign for van Dijk to be this year’s Ballon d’Or winner, claiming he hasn’t been great this season at all:
“It would make a nice change for Virgil van Dijk to win the award rather than just being Messi and Ronaldo all the time. I don’t believe Ronaldo’s been overly great anyway. But, the great players are the ones who score goals and that’s why people always say Messi or Ronaldo. I know Luka Modric won it last year, but I think what Van Dijk’s done with Liverpool has been phenomenal. The way he took them forward as a team and compete with City like they are, so I’d give it to him,” he concluded.