dailystar: Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk should win the Ballon d’Or ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
That is the view of ESPN FC pundit Craig Burley, who was asked to choose his top five players to win the award.
Fans and pundits have started to speculate who should win the 2019 Ballon d’Or after the 30-man shortlist was released earlier in the week.
Van Dijk is one of seven Liverpool players to be included in the list, while there are also five Manchester City players and two Tottenham players.
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Georginio Wijnaldum and Alisson have also been chosen from the Reds.
Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero are on the list for Premier League champions City.
Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris and Son Heung-min are also included, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, who have won the award 10 times between them, again feature among the contenders.
Van Dijk is the bookies favourite to win with Messi, who netted 51 goals for Barcelona last season, close behind him.
Burley has had his say on who should win and reckons it is time for a change from the norm.
And the former Scotland international reckons that the Dutchman deserves to win a maiden Ballon d’Or.
“It’s not all about goals and that is not why I have picked Van Dijk,” he told ESPN FC.
“I am fed up though of people saying ‘he got 60 goals and he got 60 goals’ because there is another part of the game and that is defending and it is an art.
“It is a dying art in fact because everyone wants to bomb forward all the time.
“Van Dijk was such a key component in what Liverpool did last season and he also is for Holland.
“I just think for a change give me a goalkeeper or a centre-half.
“Give me something different and don’t choose someone who got so many goals because Van Dijk obviously didn’t get 50 goals but I tell you something he just gets better and better and better.”
Burley was asked for his top five and picked Messi in second, ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mane and Raheem Sterling.
The Ballon d’Or winner will be named in Paris on December 2.
Source: Published by dailystar