Spanish newspaper claims Virgil van Dijk 'can't even dream' of matching Sergio Ramos

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Since joining Liverpool, Virgil van Dijk has redefined what defenders are capable of achieving. 

The Dutchman has won numerous individual accolades due to his role in the Reds' best ever Premier League season, which saw them amass an incredible 97 points. 

The PFA Player of the Year award followed, before he was also recognised by UEFA as both their 'Men's Player of the Season' and 'Defender of the Season' for 2018/19. 

Liverpool's sixth European title was clearly a big influence on the voting. 

With that in mind, it's likely that Van Dijk isn't finished there. 

The Ballon d'Or winner for 2019 is yet to be announced and the centre-back is the favourite with many bookmakers. 

There has long been a feeling that it is much harder for non-goalscorers to win the trophy, though midfielder Luka Modric finally broke Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's dominance last year. 

Serie A and World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro was the last defender to achieve the feat all the way back in 2006. 

If Van Dijk becomes the latest, it will naturally spark debate. Messi is quite possibly the best player of all time, so how can anyone else win the award? 

However, in Spain it's not just Messi's grievances that are prompting outcry. Newspaper AS have devoted an entire column by journalist Joaquin Maroto bemoaning the fact that Sergio Ramos has never won the Ballon d'Or. 

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final

It leads with the question: 'Van Dijk yes, and Sergio Ramos no?' 

Then follows a rant about the pair's respective achievements in the game. 

"I am shocked that half the world is claiming the Golden Ball for Van Dijk. 

"This trophy has eluded Sergio Ramos, whose numbers the Liverpool defender cannot even dream of reaching. 

Maroto notes Ramos' achievements with the national team, winning the World Cup in 2010.

And yes, this may be a touchy subject with Liverpool fans, but the controversial centre-back has also won four Champions League titles.

Spain's defender Sergio Ramos (L) holds

Fortunately, the writer has thrown in a conspiracy theory for good measure to explain why Ramos is yet to fill that particular void on his mantelpiece.

Then again, there was a rumour going around earlier this year that he has a painting of Da Vinci's Last Supper in his house in which he is depicted as Jesus Christ (genuinely, look it up here) - so his ego probably hasn't been dented irreversibly. 

Maroto adds: 

"The Golden Ball has historically been very unfair to the Spanish. 

"Iniesta not winning it the year of the World Cup in South Africa was almost an affront. Not having Xavi is inexplicable. But it has also been a historically unfair trophy to defenders."

Van Dijk upsetting that trend should be good news for defenders everywhere. Just don't tell Ramos' fans...

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