Ashley Cole has revealed why he thinks Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk did not manage to defeat Lionel Messi to this year’s Ballon d’Or award.
The former Chelsea and Arsenal defender simply thinks that Lionel Messi, and also five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo, remain on another level from everyone else in football for the quality they perform week in, week out.
Ashley Cole himself was one of the finest full-backs in the world at his peak and admitted he’d have liked to see a defensive ace earn this individual recognition for a change.
Though, he is also quoted as telling Omnisport, as per the Daily Mirror, that Van Dijk remains some way off the level of both Messi and Ronaldo.
He said: “It’s tough. You want different positions maybe being credited with how good they’ve played in that season, but to be honest I don’t think you can look outside of Messi and Ronaldo.
“What Messi does week in, week out is not normal. Again, the same with Ronaldo.
“It wasn’t a surprise that Messi won it but one day, yeah, we probably would like a defender to win it.”
Liverpool supporters won’t be too happy with this assessment, though it is perhaps hard to argue that Ronaldo and Messi are indeed something special.
The pair are unlike anything we’ve ever really seen in the match, and although Virgil Van Dijk had a hugely important 2019, Messi surely deserves his Ballon d’Or win on talent alone, while his play levels remain sensational, even if they have begun to feel normal by his high standards.