Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was beaten to the Ballon d’Or by Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi. Despite the votes being desperately close, it was the Argentine who got his hands on the accolade for the sixth time.
The Reds won the Champions League during 2018/19, whilst Liverpool put 97 points on the board in the Premier League.
On top of that, the Liverpool defender reached the Nations League Final with Holland and was largely tremendous throughout the campaign.
The Dutch destroyer might not have won the ultimate individual prize but he has earned praise from elsewhere.
Former AC Milan and Italy great Franco Baresi took to Twitter following last night’s result. He was in doubts as to who should have won the award for 2019:
— Franco Baresi (@FBaresi) December 2, 2019
Baresi is one of the best defenders to have ever lived. A one-club man, he made a staggering 719 appearances for AC Milan and received 81 caps for Italy.
The ex-centre-back won the World Cup in 1982 and was part of the team that lost in the final to Brazil in 1994.
Ironically, Baresi also knows what it’s like to miss out on the Ballon d’Or. Like van Dijk he came runner-up in 1989, losing out to Marco van Basten.
TBR Verdict – Baresi is right 2019 should have belonged to Dutchman
If you’re going to have an award for one of the greatest players to ever kick a football, then Lionel Messi rightly stakes a claim for the crown every year.
If you’re actually going to give the Balon d’Or an ounce of credit then the Liverpool man should have won it for 2019.
Messi’s numbers for the calendar year were once again tremendous and Barcelona won La Liga at a canter.
The club deemed winning only the league title as a failure, however. They relinquished a three-goal lead to Liverpool in the semi-final of the Champions League and lost to Valencia in the Copa Del Rey Final.
Jurgen Klopp’s team produced some of the most eye-catching high tempo football in Europe last season and van Dijk should have been given his just rewards.
Having your name put up in lights by an all-time great must be nice though and receiving praise from Baresi may have softened the blow.