Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk insists he is not thinking of winning the Ballon d’Or, pointing out his entire focus is directed to Lionel Messi and Barcelona
Widely regarded as one of the best defenders in Europe, the 27-year-old has emerged as one of the potential candidates to win the flattering award, as his Liverpool side still fight for two major trophies.
Although former Juventus captain Fabio Cannavaro remains the only defender ever to claim the Ballon d’Or, the Holland international could join him should the Reds clinch their first Champions League title since the 2004-05 campaign.
However, in order to break into their second successive Champions League final, the Merseysiders have to dump Barcelona out of the competition, as they prepare for a trip to Camp Nou for the first leg of their semi-final tie.
Speaking of his ambitions for the ongoing campaign, former Southampton star has admitted he is concentrated on stopping ‘out of this world’ Lionel Messi, dismissing the Ballon d’Or talks.
“Nah, that’s not something that’s on my mind at all,” Van Dijk said when asked about lifting the prestigious award.
Barcelona vs Liverpool: Virgil van Dijk focused on 'out of this world' Lionel Messi, not Ballon d'Or, after PFA award https://t.co/u2oS9jKrfZ— Football Corner (@footcor) April 29, 2019
“There are currently players walking around in this football world that are out of this world basically, and they’ve been doing it for many years.
“I’m very happy how I perform at the moment, how consistent I’m performing, that I’m fit as well. I think I just need to not look too far ahead.”
Van Dijk’s purple patch of form at Anfield has seen him being named the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and also joining the PFA Premier League Team of the Year this week.