Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk thrilled to be in Ballon d'Or frame
Last Updated: 01/12/19 11:16pm
Virgil van Dijk says he already feels like a winner after being nominated for this year's Ballon d'Or.
The winner of the prestigious award for the world's best player will be announced at a glittering ceremony in Paris on Monday.
Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi is favourite to take the prize for a record sixth time but Van Dijk is expected to provide strong competition.
Van Dijk, a cornerstone of Liverpool's Champions League success last season and UEFA Player of the Year, came second to Messi in the voting for FIFA World Player of the Year in September.
The Liverpool centre-back said: "I am going to have a look at what it is about. I am going to be there for a reason and there are no losers on the evening.
"I am very proud to be in that bracket, to be in there for the way I performed with the team last year and also with the country.
"It is just something to be proud of because not a lot of players go there and are up for these kind of things.
"There's going to be a winner but there are no losers. We will see what happens."
Van Dijk was one of seven Liverpool players on the shortlist along with goalkeeper Alisson Becker, defender Trent Alexander-Arnold, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and forwards Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Manchester City had five players nominated in Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez with Tottenham duo Hugo Lloris and Heung-Min Son also featuring.
Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also made the list, as did former Chelsea star, now of Real Madrid, Eden Hazard. Cristiano Ronaldo - like Messi, also a five-time winner - was again nominated.