Former Manchester United star, Paul Ince, has said defender Virgil van Dijk deserves to win the Ballon d’Or over the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
The three players are up for the award, with Van Dijk having already beaten Messi and Ronaldo to the UEFA Player of the Year prize.
Ince is backing him to also take home this year’s Ballon D’Or and questioned why Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling is not in the frame.
He told Paddy Power: “The thing is about the Ballon d’Or is that we always go with the same people. It’s either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo winning it, isn’t it really?
“But there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be a defender. Virgil van Dijk has been exceptional this year, but I also thought Raheem Sterling should be up for it.
“It’s a tough one because Man City still won three trophies, while Liverpool only got one in the Champions League, and yet Sterling’s not even mentioned as a potential winner.
“That baffles me. It really, really does.
“It would make a nice change for Virgil van Dijk to win the award rather than just being Messi and Ronaldo all the time. I don’t believe Ronaldo’s been overly great anyway.
“But, the great players are the ones who score goals and that’s why people always say Messi or Ronaldo.
“I know Luka Modric won it last year, but I think what Van Dijk’s done with Liverpool has been phenomenal.
“The way he took them forward as a team and compete with City like they are, so I’d give it to him.”