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Pique: Liverpool defender Van Dijk good, but Messi...

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique says Liverpool counterpart Virgil van Dijk can win the Ballon d'Or.

In 2006, Real Madrid's Fabio Cannavaro beat off the competition and Van Dijk could follow in his footsteps after helping Liverpool win the Champions League.

"I always said that for me, if you have to vote for the best player of them all, you have to vote for Lionel Messi," Pique told the Daily Express.

"For the last ten years he has been by far the best player in the world, but it is fair enough that Van Dijk has done a great season and he should be there fighting for it.

"It is not easy. This game is made for strikers. When they score they are the stars and when they don't score, normally nothing happens.

"For keepers and defenders, it is more difficult. When you do a good job it is difficult for people to recognise you but when you make a mistake you are everywhere. Normally strikers will win it."

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Paul Vegas

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