It’s rare that we see a defender even being mentioned as a potential winner, so it’s testament to how good Virgil van Dijk has been this year.
It seems we already know that Lionel Messi is going to win the Ballon D'or award tonight, but there's still a lot of attention being directed towards the ceremony.
It's rare that we see a defender even being mentioned as a potential winner, so it's testament to how good Virgil van Dijk has been this year.
The award was pretty much exclusively awarded to Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo until Luka Modric won it last year.
It appears the Cristiano Ronaldo won't be winning it this time, which could be the reason for him not attending.
This video shows van Dijk being asked about his absence, and it's a pretty brutal put down from the Liverpool man:
Interviewer (in Dutch): "Cristiano won't be here, so that's already one rival less."
Van Dijk: "Was he a rival then?"
It's hard to say if he really meant to be that brutal about Ronaldo's chances, but it is also true that Ronaldo's form has dropped below his usual standards over the past few months.