Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk deserved to win the Golden Ball instead of finishing second in the vote behind Lionel Messi, Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp said on Tuesday.
“The decision is made by journalists, and that’s how people see things,” Klopp told reporters before the home match against Everton in the English Premier League on Wednesday. “I see it a little different, I think it’s normal and many people see it a little different.”
Klopp said Messi is probably the best player he’s ever seen and deserved to have six Golden Balls.
“But last season, if you only go for that season, then I can’t remember a more impressive season for a defender, honestly,” said the German Liverpool coach.
“It would have been nice if Virgil had won it,” he added.
Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro was the last defender to win the Golden Ball in 2006 after helping Italy win the World Cup.