Could 2019 be the year that a defender wins the Ballon d’Or once again?
It’s been 13 years since Fabio Cannavaro lifted the individual trophy after leading Italy to World Cup glory.
Since then, the award has been largely dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
But Virgil van Dijk could end the duopoly after 10 years with bookmakers making him favourite for the accolade.
The Dutchman has been incredible since Liverpool signed him for £75 million back in January 2018.
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He’s transformed the Reds into genuine title challengers and led the club to a sixth European Cup.
Many even claim he’s now the best defender in world football.
One thing is for sure, he’s the best centre-back in the Premier League.
That’s certainly the opinion of one football fan who has attempted to rank every Premier League central defender into categories from ‘world-class to ‘Mustafi.’
Here are the results:
World-class: Virgil van Dijk
Class: Aymeric Laporte, Rob Holding
Good: Nathan Ake, Toby Alderweireld, Vincent Kompany, Victor Lindelof
Decent: Eric Bailly, Willy Boly, Lewis Dunk, Joe Gomez, Harry Maguire, Christian Kabasele, Antonio Rudiger, John Stones, Davinson Sanchez, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Jan Vertonghen, Kurt Zouma, James Tarkowski
Bad: Fabián Balbuena, Martin Kelly, Jannik Vestergaard, Michael Keane, Sol Bamba, Andreas Christensen, Christopher Schindler, Kieran Clarke, Fabian Schar, Jamaal Lascelles, Ryan Bennett, Mamadou Sakho, Issa Diop, Joel Matip, Paul Dummett, Phil Jagielka, David Luiz, Federico Fernandez, Dejan Lovren, Caglar Soyuncu, Jonny Evans, Yerry Mina, Adrian Mariappa, Juan Foyth, Denis Odoi, Angelo Ogbonna, Tim Ream, Nicolas Otamendi.
Trash: Leon Begalom, Wes Morgan, Steve Cook, Conor Coady, Craig Cathcart, Shane Duffy, Wesley Hoedt, Scott Dann, Jack Stephens, Maya Yoshida, Sean Morrison, James Tomkins, Terence Kongolo, Laurent Koscielny, Mathias Jorgensen, Maxime Le Marchand, Jack Simpson, Bruno Ecuele Manga, Ben Gibson, Florian Lejeune, Chris Mepham, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Ben Mee, Calum Chambers.
Mustafi: Shkodran Mustafi, Phil Jones, Alfie Mawson
There are certainly some questionable shouts there.
Champions League winner Joel Matip bad? Really?
Fabian Schar bad?
But the worst of all, Holding being in the ‘class’ tier alongside Laporte, ahead of the likes of Alderweireld, Lindelof, Gomez, Maguire and Ake…
We’re not too sure on that one…News Now - Sport News