Italian football legend Franco Baresi has claimed that Liverpool centre back Virgil van Dijk should have won the Ballon d’Or on Monday night.
It was revealed that Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi had won the prestigious award for the sixth time in his career, but there have been plenty of people arguing that the Reds star should have secured the honour.
Baresi, it seems, was one of them. He wrote on his official Twitter account, in response to Ballon d’Or announcing their selection, that: “This season the best @VirgilvDijk @LFC.”
— Franco Baresi (@FBaresi) December 2, 2019
When you talk about who, as a defender, you’d want to receive praise from, Baresi has to be near the top of the list. The 59-year-old is arguably the finest defender of all time, certainly in the top three, and is a veteran of THREE Champions League triumphs with his beloved AC Milan. So for Van Dijk to receive massive praise like this from someone like Baresi will have meant a whole heap to him. Obviously it won’t take away his disappointment at losing out to Messi for what was likely the finest season of his career, but knowing that Baresi thinks you’re a top player will surely sooth him. The Messi v Van Dijk debate this year is an interesting one. The Argentine, as the greatest player of all time, is hard to argue against. However, the Dutch superstar had a phenomenal year for club and country, and was the best player for the best team in Europe. It’s tricky to make a case against him, as well. You just wonder whether Messi was given the edge purely because he’s… well, you know… Messi.