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Ruud Gullit on Van Dijk’s neck; Ballon d’Or, Criticism

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19 Feb 2020
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Ruud Gullit

Ruud Gullit believes Virgil van Dijk’s will never win the Ballon d’Or as his playing position will make it impossible. He will always be overlooked in favor of forwards to win the accolades.


Gullit, former Chelsea and AC Milan star have insisted that no matter how good Van Dijk plays as a defender, he will always be overlooked in favor of forwards to win the accolades.

Van Dijk scooped up the UEFA Player of the Year Award after an impressive campaign with Liverpool and the Netherlands last season.  The center-back was also heavily tipped to win the 2019 Golden Ball last year. Eventually, he lost out to Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

Gullit feels his fellow countryman has already missed his best chance o winning the Ballon d’Or.

He said, “The message of the Ballon d’Or was, he is never going to win it again. But you know, you can’t say Messi didn’t deserve it either. If there was a possibility to make a stand for defender, it was this year. Sacchi (Arrigo) already said that Van Dijk couldn’t win it because, otherwise, Baresi (Franco) should have won it already.”

“That is why I say, it almost looks like they say ‘look, you are never going to be a contender anymore for the Ballon d’Or.”

Gullit blast Van Dijk for failure to stop Atletico from scoring

Following the Champions League defeat by Atletico Madrid, Gullit as well blasts the defender for failing to stop their counterparts from scoring.

Van Dijk has faced criticism for his role in the goal that condemned Liverpool to 1-0 Champions League last-16 first-leg defeat. With three minutes of play, the Dutchman skewed clearance from a cross behind his own goal for a corner and was slow to react seconds later as Saul Niguez tapped in the decisive strike.

Compatriot Ruud Gullit alongside Marcel Desailly was scathing in his assessment of Van Dijk’s culpability for the goal.

Gullit, “Van Dijk has a nightmare today. I saw him doing things especially the first ball how he gives away the corner, clumsy a little bit, not necessary to do that.”

“A little bit of luck, the ball comes in front of his foot and 1-0.”

The pair of pundits were also wary about Liverpool’s chances of overturning the deficit in the return leg at Anfield.

The Dutchman added, “They know at Anfield they score a lot of goals. But they are going to face another game like this and they need to be better, higher tempo, quicker play, anything.”

Desailly continued, “You cannot count on your stadium and your ability at home every time to make a difference. It is Champions League. They have made one mistake, they’ve paid straight away and they score.”

“Going forward you also open up to Atletico who will potentially have the opportunity to score.”

  • Ruud Gullit
  • Virgil Van Dijk
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