Following a surely deserved PFA Player of the Year win at the weekend, Virgil van Dijk has been drawn closer into all other individual accolades, including the most important trophy a player can earn off their own back - the FIFA Ballon d'Or.
Since we first published our outright 2019 Ballon d'Or odds preview when bookmakers originally priced up each player's chances, Lionel Messi has gone from being a likely frontrunner at 4/6 to a certain favourite at 1/3. This came after another stellar season for the Argentine, winning La Liga and going into the UEFA Champions League semi-finals with the shortest price to win the competition.
In similar style, Virgil van Dijk has seen a similar drop in price, with it being an indication of how well respected he is throughout world football for his incredible efforts within the Liverpool back four. Many people previously doubted any chance of the Dutchman coming away with a Ballon d'Or win, especially ahead of an undeniably exceptional Lionel Messi, but clinching the PFA Player of the Year award only makes it easier to envisage.
Virgil van Dijk second favourite to seal the Ballon d'Or after Lionel Messi
Originally priced at 25/1 to win the Ballon d'Or, Virgil van Dijk dropped to 13/2 after it was confirmed that he was the 2019 PFA Player of the Year. His previous pricing put him even with teammate Mo Salah, who's since drifted to 33/1 after not even featuring in the PFA Team of the Year.
A lot of Virgil van Dijk's hopes of winning this year's Ballon d'Or will rest on how Liverpool finish the season. They remain in contention for the Champions League but face an almost impossible task in having to fight Barcelona over two legs in the semi-finals. Liverpool are also technically still involved in the title race, trailing Manchester City by a mere point but expected to lose out based on the Citizens' quality.
Winning the PFA Player of the Year said a lot about how much people rate Virgil van Dijk and his effect on the Premier League this season. Whether he's able to win the Ballon d'Or is another thing entirely though, even if Sky Bet see him as being the second most likely candidate if Lionel Messi were to fall out of contention.
A significant gap stands between Virgil van Dijk and third favourite Kylian Mbappe, who sits with a 12/1 price after previously being priced at 16/1. Cristiano Ronaldo is the fourth favourite, drifting from 9/2 to 25/1 following a disappointing quarter-final exit in the Champions League with Juventus.
Both Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero possess the same price as Cristiano Ronaldo, with each player standing a chance of winning the Ballon d'Or based on their efforts in the Premier League title race. That being said, no player looks anywhere as worthy as Lionel Messi, who continues to play to a standard above all other players in Europe.