Gini Wijnaldum and Ryan Babel have both thrown their backing behind international teammate Virgil van Dijk in the race for the Ballon d’Or.
Van Dijk, who was named PFA Players’ Player of the Year and Premier League Player of the Season, helped his Netherlands side reach the Nations League finals last night, where they were beaten 1-0 by Portugal.
And Wijnaldum and former Red Babel both believe the towering centre-back should win the coveted accolade ahead of the other contenders.
“He had a really good season, he tried to stop everyone he was playing against,” said Wijnaldum, as quoted by Liverpoolfc.com.
“It’s not up to us to decide if he wins the Ballon d’Or. For us, he’s the best defender in the world and if you look at his season he definitely deserves the Ballon d’Or. But it’s not up to us, it’s up to other people to decide that.”
Ryan Babel also backed Van Dijk, telling Sky Sports: “The last [defender to win the award] I remember was Cannavaro in 2006, so it’s not impossible.
“I think it’s fair that he would be at least on the list. We will see at the end if he wins it – I would be very happy for him.”