Virgil van Dijk in contention for Ballon d'Or, says Ryan Babel
Last Updated: 10/06/19 7:50am
Liverpool and Netherlands defender Virgil van Dijk is a contender to win the Ballon d'Or, says Ryan Babel.
Van Dijk captained Netherlands to the final of the Nations League on Sunday, where they eventually fell short in a 1-0 defeat to hosts Portugal.
The Dutchman also led Liverpool to the Champions League title last season and only narrowly missed out on a Premier League title win.
Fulham winger Babel believes the 27-year-old could be the first defender since Italy's Fabio Cannavaro in 2006 to win the Ballon d'Or.
"The last time I remember a defender winning the Ballon d'Or, it was Cannavaro in 2006. So it's not impossible," he told Sky Sports News.
"I think it is fair that he would at least be on the shortlist.
"We will see in the end if he wins it or not. I would be very happy for him (if he does)."
Van Dijk: Netherlands making progress
Van Dijk says Ronald Koeman's side need to remain positive despite suffering defeat in Sunday's final in Porto because the Netherlands were never tipped to get as far as they did.
"At the start of this tournament I don't think anyone would have believed us if we said that we are going to reach the final. That's how it is," he told Sky Sports News.
"We have made a lot of progress, all the players have made a lot of progression. We have to be proud of ourselves.
"Disappointment is in our heads but we have to keep our heads up."