Virgil van Dijk would be proud to win the Ballon d’Or crown

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has said that he would be proud to win the Ballon d’Or this year, although the main focus remains on bagging more trophies with the Merseyside giants. The Netherlands international has been a revelation since making the switch to Anfield from Southampton last year and he was hugely influential towards the Reds’ Champions League title success last term.

The trophy ended the club’s seven-year wait for silverware and Van Dijk is focused on finding more success on the team scale rather than looking at individual honours, he told Sky Sports: “If people are talking about it – you can’t say it doesn’t do you something. But it’s a subject we don’t have any influence on. I can’t change anything right now other than get fit, stay fit and that’s the situation.

“Winning something like that is a dream come true for every footballer in the world. If you don’t then you just get on with it and try to perform better than last year. It would be fantastic, and I would be very proud. But the main thing will be to focus on what we do all together and achieving the bigger goal – that’s getting silverware with the club.”

Van Dijk won the PFA Player of the Year in England despite not winning the Premier League and the bookmakers have now earmarked him as the favourite to secure the Ballon d’Or. However, the centre-back faces direct competition in the form of Lionel Messi, who had another sublime season on the individual note and it won’t be surprising if he manages to grab the award after finishing outside of the top three last time around.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have not looked to strengthen the squad during the course of the summer transfer window and this has certainly brought concerns among the fans, who believe the club need to show more ambition to compete for the Premier League crown. The Reds begin their league campaign against Norwich City at Anfield.