Virgil van Dijk Still Ballon d’Or Favourite

Virgil van Dijk Still Ballon d’Or Favourite

Two horse race between van Dijk and Lionel Messi

Modern day football fans have become accustomed to the Ballon d’Or being a two horse race. In fact, from 2008 – 2018, the award was collectively shared between just two players – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The two legendary figures embarked upon one of the greatest rivalries the sport has ever witnessed during this time frame, with nobody coming close to making a dent in either individual’s superiority.

Now heading towards the 2020 Ballon d’Or, the odds are favouring another two horse race again, but this time Messi has a different threat to his crown. Virgil van Dijk is the current 4/6 favourite to win the award with SkyBet, with Messi closely behind at 6/5.

After winning the Champions League and the PFA Player of the Year, the Dutchman experienced an incredible campaign last season, reeling in the plaudits with almost every game he played. Commanding the backline, van Dijk featured in every single league game, with the Reds boasting the best defensive record in the division. Through his pace, positioning and timing, the Liverpool third captain was simply unbeatable at times and many see his label as the favourite in being a just choice.

Inevitably though, the five time winner in Messi is still in contention to win the award. On the back of a 51 goal season, it isn’t hard to see why either. After claiming a second successive La Liga title, the Argentinian’s reign in Spain continued in hot fashion, helping Barcelona retain their domestic crown with relative ease. Such success has, however, been overshadowed by Barca’s failure in the Champions League, alongside Argentina crashing out of the Copa America semi-finals.

Given the high standards that is placed on Messi’s shoulders, it seems as though it is an impossible task to please everybody. Such disappointment could be fresh in the mind of voters and SkyBet are clearly taking into account this factor, given the Barcelona forward’s 6/5 price with SkyBet.

Best of the rest

It would clearly be a huge shock if either van Dijk or Messi didn’t get their hands on the Ballon d’Or award. However, there are a few other names hovering around the betting market.

Similarly to the favourite, Alisson also had a remarkable season at Anfield, winning the Premier League golden glove in his debut campaign at the club. Alongside this accolade, the Brazilian also won the Copa America and Champions League, topping off a dream first year in Merseyside. At 16/1 his chances appear to be slim, but his stats cannot be ignored.

Unsurprisingly, Ronaldo’s name has also been thrown into the mix. The Juventus forward enjoyed a productive first season in Turin, scoring 28 goals and picking up two domestic trophies along the way. Such success was however expected and his price at 12/1 perhaps recognises this. If Juventus had won the Champions League, the Portuguese legend would surely have been making it six times a charm.

It is Liverpool players who compromise the remaining potential contenders, with Mohammed Salah coming in at 18/1 and Sadio Mane at 22/1 with SkyBet. Their success in the Champions League is evidently the influential factor behind such odds, alongside both forward’s impressive goal scoring records last season. Despite their strong showings though, it would be a big shock to see either man be crowned the winner.

Mohamed Salah reigstered 27 goals in all competitions last season for Liverpool.

Ballon d’Or odds

Virgil van Dijk – 4/6

Lionel Messi – 6/5

Cristiano Ronaldo – 12/1

Alisson – 16/1

Mohammed Salah – 18/1

Sadio Mane – 22/1