Virgil van Dijk: Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool defender should win 2019 Ballon d'Or

Ballon d'Or winner will be revealed on December 2

Virgil van Dijk speaks to Jurgen Klopp after salvaging a point at Old Trafford 0:59
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes Virgil van Dijk should win the Ballon d'Or as he was the best player last season – not Barcelona's Lionel Messi

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes Virgil van Dijk should win the 2019 Ballon d'Or ahead of Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.

A 30-man shortlist for the award was revealed in October with Messi, Van Dijk and Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane among the frontrunners to win it.

Liverpool's Champions League winners Mohamed Salah, Alisson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino are also on the shortlist but their manager says Van Dijk is the worthiest recipient.

"If you give the Ballon d'Or to the best player of this generation then you should give it always to Lionel Messi. That's how it is," he said.

"But if you give it to the best player of last season, then it was Virgil van Dijk.

"I don't know exactly how it will work but that is how I see it.

"The best player of all? That's Lionel. Best player of last season? That's Virgil. We will see."

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'Don't forget Leicester and Chelsea in title race'

When asked if Liverpool were growing confident of winning the Premier League title after opening a nine-point gap from defending champions Manchester City, Klopp was quick to mention fourth-placed Chelsea and second-placed Leicester as genuine contenders.

"We don't really worry about it. It's only eight points to Leicester, we cannot forget about them. They were champions, three or four years ago," he added.

"Chelsea also played an incredible season (so far).

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Image: Leicester are eight points behind league leaders Liverpool

"If we lost the last game we played under Crystal Palace, then we suddenly would have been just five points ahead and people would talk about different things.

"The main thing is that we stay relaxed about that. We don't think about the points, we don't think about the gap, we think about the next game. Hopefully we can stay that way."

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