Koeman: Virgil van Dijk Deserves Ballon d'Or over Lionel Messi.

Koeman has tipped the Liverpool star to win this year's Ballon d'Or.

Virgil van Dijk should be the next Ballon d'Or winner ahead of Lionel Messi, according to Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman.

The Dutchman was a key member of the Liverpool side that won the Champions League at the Wanda Metropolitano last weekend, and former Southampton and Everton head coach lavished praise on the Reds’ centre-back - who joined up with the Netherlands squad on Monday ahead of their UEFA Nations League semi-final clash against England in Portugal this Thursday.

"He deserves to win the Ballon d'Or," Koeman told a YouTube question and answer session organised by the Dutch football federation.

"It's usually handed to players who make or create decisive goals, but if there ever is a time to give it to a defender, it is now."

He continued: "In my opinion Messi is the best player, but I also think you should win big trophies with your team to be a contestant."

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