Jürgen Klopp believes Virgil van Dijk deserves to win the Ballon d’Or in recognition of his unparalleled form throughout last season.
Van Dijk is one of seven Liverpool players on the 30-man shortlist for the game’s most prestigious individual honour, with the recipient to be revealed at a ceremony next Monday.
The No.4 was a near-ever-present as the Reds ended 2018-19 as champions of Europe and having amassed a club-record total of 97 points in the Premier League.
Peerless performances led to Van Dijk being crowned UEFA Men’s Player of the Year, PFA Players’ Player of the Year and Premier League Player of the Season – and his manager has backed the Netherlands captain to be honoured further next week.
“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,” Klopp 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.”