Ruud Gullit believes Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk must “be better” for his national side if he’s to win the Ballon d’Or, according to Goal.

Van Dijk won the Champions League with Liverpool just days before helping Holland reach the final of the Nations League, where they were beaten1-0 by Portugal.

Gullit himself won the Ballon d’Or in 1987 and has encouraged Van Dijk to improve the Netherlands defence in the same way he positively impacted Jurgen Klopp’s team at the back.

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“I think he did really, really well, especially with Liverpool. I think that he was the missing link for them,” Gullit said.

“For the national team I still think he needs to be better than that.

“Not him only, but also [Matthijs] De Ligt because out of the last 14 games, 10 games we’ve been 1-0 down. If you have such a good defence you don’t need to concede these goals all the time.”

“It has to do with the whole team of course. It is something that he has to fix. Not he himself but the whole defence, with the whole team, in order to be that player.

“Of course, defenders have not been picked a lot. Baresi should have been picked but never was. So therefore it would be a huge boost for him if he gets picked.”

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