As featured on NewsNow: Football news

Real Madrid captain Ramos: Van Dijk a genuine Ballon d'Or contender

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos says Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk is a genuine Ballon d'Or contender.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo won the award for 10 years in a row between 2008 and 2017, claiming five apiece in that time, but the pair saw their duopoly broken last year as Madrid midfielder Luka Modric took home the prestigious trophy in a ceremony in Paris last September.

"If Van Dijk wins it, it will be on sufficient merit," Ramos said at the launch of his new Amazon Prime documentary, in quotes published by Marca. "Great defender.

"As a defender, it's harder.

"It seems as though it's not just Messi and Cristiano [now]. It seems there's a route opening [for others]."

However, he added: "It makes you think [when you realise] that no Spanish players have won it.

"It's an individual prize and it's not really known what is being recognised."

About the author

Paul Vegas

Have your say
×

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

  1. Go Ad-Free
  2. Faster site experience
  3. Support great writing
  4. Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free
×

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free