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Klopp explains why Van Dijk deserved Ballon d'Or

Klopp explains why Van Dijk deserved the Ballon d'Or instead of Messi

December 3, 2019 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The German manager believes that the Dutch center-back should have been the worthy winner.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has bemoaned France Football magazine's decision to award Lionel Messi the 2019 Ballon d'Or. The 52-year-old manager insisted that Reds' centerback Virgil van Dijk deserved the honor but acknowledged that the Argentine forward winning it quite undebatable.

On Monday, Messi scooped his career-sixth gong in Paris, France after being voted the best above close competitors Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo on the back of their respective performances in the calendar year. In terms of individual brilliance, the Barcelona skipper was unmatched with his goal proficiency, firing Los Blaugrana to the Spanish league title and the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League.

Despite his 54 goal-haul in 58 appearances last season, the Argentine conceded the 2019 UEFA Best Men's Player of the Year award to Van Dijk. The Dutch centerback guided Liverpool to the Champions League title, finished second in the Premier League with the Reds while ending the UEFA Nations League as runners-up with his national side.

Still, that was not enough to earn him football's greatest honor in France on Monday and, according to his club manager Jurgen Klopp, this should not have been the case.

"Things like this are decisions made by journalists," he said according to Guardian.

"I see it slightly different and a lot of people see it slightly different but that's absolutely no problem. Lionel Messi, I've said probably 500,000 times in my life already, is probably the best player I saw in my lifetime.

"Very early in my life I saw Franz Beckenbauer and Diego Maradona but I've seen Lionel Messi more. I don't know how the others would have played nowadays – probably exceptional – but Lionel Messi is here now and he has won it six times and Cristiano [Ronaldo] five times but last season I cannot remember a more impressive season from a defender ever. Honestly. So it would have been right if Virg won it.

"I heard it was pretty close. As a group of players we won the Champions League, played an outstanding season and got 97 points and people see that as well because we cannot do that without performing players so I am really happy for them. It is nice but it is last season, so I think pretty much now all the awards are done and the boys can go for new ones."


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