Virgil van Dijk CAN become first defender since Fabio Cannavaro to win the Ballon d’Or, insists Holland pal Ryan Babel
- Ryan Babel and Virgil van Dijk missed out on Nations League glory on Sunday
- But Liverpool centre back Van Dijk lifted Champions League trophy last weekend
- Fulham winger Babel insists his compatriot is in the running to land Ballon d’Or
Holland winger Ryan Babel has backed team-mate Virgil van Dijk to become the first defender since Fabio Cannavaro to win the Ballon d’Or.
Babel and Van Dijk missed out on UEFA Nations League glory on Sunday after suffering a 1-0 defeat by Portugal.
However Van Dijk lifted the Champions League trophy last weekend and just fell short of the Premier League title by one point with Liverpool.
Ryan Babel (right) insists Holland team-mate Virgil van Dijk is in running to land the Ballon d’Or
The Liverpool centre half lifted the Champions League trophy last weekend in Madrid
Fulham forward Babel insists the centre half is in the running to land the Ballon d’Or following his impressive campaign.
‘The last time I remember a defender winning the Ballon d’Or, it was Cannavaro in 2006. So it’s not impossible,’ he told Sky Sports News.
‘I think it is fair that he would at least be on the shortlist.
‘We will see in the end if he wins it or not. I would be very happy for him (if he does).’
Luka Modric won football’s greatest individual award last year, breaking a run of 10 years in which either Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi triumphed. Both have won it five times.
Babel and Van Dijk missed out on UEFA Nations League glory on Sunday after loss to Portugal