72 appearances, 39 clean sheets, seven goals, four assists, and now one Champions League. There’s been a lot said about Virgil van Dijk but these numbers certainly speak for themselves. The “Rolls-Royce” defender has also been this year’s PFA Player of the Year award over the typical sexier attacking choices, while marshaling England and Europe’s best defense on the way to securing Liverpool’s sixth European cup.
Van Dijk has played an incomparable role in his team, Liverpool, and a sports.Sportingbet exclusive interview with Danny Murphy confirms this fact. Murphy goes on to say he believes that van Dijk has made the biggest impact on the Premier League last season.
“It’s hard to believe how much Liverpool’s defense has improved since his arrival. His leadership qualities make him the full package as a footballer, there’s not a weakness to his game. He’s technically very good, he’s quick, he’s strong and he’s good in the air. He doesn’t get beat in one on ones and he’s starting to lead by example, whilst helping others around him. There’s no coincidence the players around him are looking better as well.
Will van Dijk be winning the Ballon D’or this year as well? As far as van Dijk is concerned, he believes it belongs to Lionel Messi.
“I think Messi is the best player in the world,” he said after the Champions League final. “He should win the Ballon d’Or, so I’m not thinking of that. If I win, I’ll take it. Messi should win it though. He is the best in the world, whether he’s in the final or not.”
Although it is debatable as to whether van Dijk can be considered the best in the entire world, he is certainly the best defender in the Premier League at the moment. Many doubted his talents and abilities due to his pricey fee, £75 million. However, he has proven beyond doubt that he’s worth every penny and more.
His teammate, Gini Wijnaldum, believes the imperious defender has made a strong case for it already, “For us he’s the best defender in the world. If you look at his season, he definitely deserves the Ballon d’Or but it’s not up to us to decide”.
If Virgil van Dijk does end up winning the Ballon D’or, it would be the perfect end to an impressive to the perfect season – confirming what Liverpool fans already know: that Virgil Van Dijk is the best defender in the world.