Ballon d'Or betting odds: Virgil van Dijk odds-on to win award ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

Virgil van Dijk is the odds-on favourite for the Ballon d'Or
Virgil van Dijk is the odds-on favourite for the Ballon d'Or

Can anyone stop Virgil van Dijk adding the Ballon d'Or to his list of accolades this year? Paul Higham thinks he's a worthy odds-on favourite.


Why should Virgil van Dijk win the Ballon d'Or?

There are stats coming out of our ears about how good Van Dijk has been since making the now well-trodden path from Southampton to Liverpool, and while they're all impressive his real worth is something that doesn't really show up in an Opta report.

He's already being held up as an Anfield icon for bolstering a defence that was the predominant reason why Jurgen Klopp's excitable Liverpool side had previously entertained many but had no trophies to show for it.

Van Dijk was Man of the Match when leading Liverpool to the Champions League trophy, and won the PFA Player of the Year after marshalling the meanest defence in Europe to a record Premier League points tally and just one defeat.


Ballon d'Or odds


However, it's the way he keeps the opposition at bay, the aura of assured calm he projects and the confidence he visibly exudes, seemingly having every situation under control, that has Liverpool fans already comparing him to Alan Hansen, and pundits proclaiming him as the best in the world.

He's a mountain of a man, but can cover the ground with effortless speed - a Rolls-Royce of a defender that can also perform with the ball, spraying passes around the field at will, while also being a danger in the opposition penalty area.

Virgil van Dijk with the Player of the Year trophy
Virgil van Dijk with the Player of the Year trophy

In short he has everything - and after Luka Modric broke the decade-long Messi/Ronaldo stranglehold of the Ballon d'Or, Van Dijk is well out in front in this year's renewal and it'd be a huge upset if he didn't go on to become the first defender since 2006 World Cup-winning skipper Fabio Cannavaro to scoop the award.

The format is also in Van Dijk's favour - as although it's a calendar year award it's usually handed out as a reward for the previous season, with nominations in October and award winner in December, so it'll take something special for a late run from someone else.

Champions League winners also usually grab the award (nine of the last 12) and that was the main decider between Messi and Ronaldo during their decade of dominance.

Who can challenge Van Dijk for the Ballon d'Or award?

6/5 Lionel Messi

51 goals in 50 games for Barcelona last season tells you Messi is still a goal-scoring phenomenon as he topped the scoring charts in both La Liga and the Champions League, yet it was still seen as a so-so season for the Argentinian wonder.

Two reasons for that really, one being Barca's remarkable Champions League collapse at Anfield, when Messi went missing, and Argentina's failure to win the Copa America. It's another international blank for Messi and that certainly counts against him given the insane levels he's judged on these days.

12/1 Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo had his worst goal-scoring return in a decade with a paltry (for him) tally of 28 goals as he swapped Real Madrid for Juventus, but was unable to help the Italians win the Champions League trophy they crave.

He did lead Portugal to Nations League glory and that may help his case, but the odds tell you he's not been able to impress enough during the year to look like troubling market leader Van Dijk.

16/1 Alisson Becker

A lot of Van Dijk's opposition for the award comes from within his own dressing room, starting with his goalkeeper Allison, who followed up the Champions League with a Copa America title with Brazil - where his finest achievement this year may well have been keeping Man City stopper Ederson out of the Brazil starting XI.

He had more clean sheets than anyone else in Europe's big leagues last season and his late save against Napoli kept Liverpool in the Champions League in their final group game. Lev Yashin is the only keeper to win this award, though, and it's unlikely Allison will follow him - this year at least.

18/1 Mohamed Salah

Another Liverpool team-mate in the now global superstar that is Mo Salah, who retained his Premier League Golden Boot - to some degree - when finishing in a three-way tie with Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

It was another excellent season for Salah but the negative criticism that came about when he fell slightly below his extremely high standards of his debut season at Anfield have hurt his chances here.

28/1 Bernardo Silva

Manchester City players are strangely absent from the list of contenders, with Silva being their top representative, but that shows you this award usually favours European success, and City are sadly lacking in that aspect despite dominating in England last season.

Silva beats out Raheem Sterling (33/1) mainly due to Portugal's success in the Nations League - plus he looks like being City's captain of the future with a growing influence in Pep Guardiola's team.

100/1 Matthijs De Ligt/Frenkie De Jong

Just a word on the Ajax duo who should perhaps be given a bit more credit for their remarkable Champions League run that came just a few seconds from them making the final. They've both joined bigger clubs so could threaten this award in years to come, though.

Their outsider tag here is a sign of just how dominant Van Dijk has been in the betting market as much as it as about being penalised for playing in the Dutch league.

Odds correct as of 13:55 on 24/07/19


Follow Sporting Life on social media - find us on Facebook here or tweet @SportingLifeFC

Related football links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read Football

Get all of Sporting Life's Saturday best bets in one place
1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

The Sporting Life team provide their free tips for Saturday across racing, football, rugby and Formula One.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package2

Saturday's Premier League tips

Mark your card for Saturday's Premier League games with our best bets and score predictions, including those involving Spurs and Man City.

3

Sporting Life Accumulator

The latest Sporting Life Accumulator involves four teams across the three divisions enhanced to 22/1 by EFL title sponsors Sky Bet.

Our best bets for the latest Sky Bet EFL action4

Sky Bet EFL: Weekend preview

The Sky Bet EFL continues this weekend following some midweek action. Tom Carnduff is finding value in backing goalscorers.

Callum Wilson celebrates scoring Bournemouth's third goal against Southampton5

Watch: Cherries continue fine start

Bournemouth recorded a first away win over Southampton as goals from Nathan Ake, Harry Wilson and Callum Wilson earned a 3-1 success at St Mary's.

Most Read Football

Get all of Sporting Life's Saturday best bets in one place
1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

The Sporting Life team provide their free tips for Saturday across racing, football, rugby and Formula One.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package2

Saturday's Premier League tips

Mark your card for Saturday's Premier League games with our best bets and score predictions, including those involving Spurs and Man City.

3

Sporting Life Accumulator

The latest Sporting Life Accumulator involves four teams across the three divisions enhanced to 22/1 by EFL title sponsors Sky Bet.

Our best bets for the latest Sky Bet EFL action4

Sky Bet EFL: Weekend preview

The Sky Bet EFL continues this weekend following some midweek action. Tom Carnduff is finding value in backing goalscorers.

Callum Wilson celebrates scoring Bournemouth's third goal against Southampton5

Watch: Cherries continue fine start

Bournemouth recorded a first away win over Southampton as goals from Nathan Ake, Harry Wilson and Callum Wilson earned a 3-1 success at St Mary's.

Football Tips

Sporting Life Accumulator

The latest Sporting Life Accumulator involves four teams across the three divisions enhanced to 22/1 by EFL title sponsors Sky Bet.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package

Saturday's Premier League tips

Mark your card for Saturday's Premier League games with our best bets and score predictions, including those involving Spurs and Man City.

Our best bets for the latest Sky Bet EFL action

Sky Bet EFL: Weekend preview

The Sky Bet EFL continues this weekend following some midweek action. Tom Carnduff is finding value in backing goalscorers.