The debate for who deserves the 2019 Ballon d'Or award have continued to take center stage amongst football fans all over the world. This year's seem a bit unusual considering the top contenders or favorites for the award. For me, the best Offensive player(Messi) and the best Defensive player(Van Dijk) are the topmost contenders, and I feel it's unfair to judge both with the same criteria or impact in a game.
It used to be a bit more easier in time past to compare who the crown fits, basically because most times, the top contenders were attacking players, and very rare for midfielders to be seen as favorites, not to mention defenders and Goalkeepers. Let's Just say, the current holder of the Award in the person of Luka Modric got Lucky, it's not always the case.
As the day of the award draws closer, sports analyst have continued to pour in their opinions on who they think should bag the award this time. From what have been able to observe(not an expert) on social media, the two most suitable players or likely winners of the award is the Argentine Lionel Messi and The Dutch Van Dijk.
Obviously, there are other players who have had an awesome season and could from other people's observations be considered as top contenders too. However, this is mine and it's a subjective view. You can mention the likes of Eden Hazard, Christiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Sadio Mane, Mohammed Salah, Allison, Raheem Sterling etc... These players cannot be underestimated and anything can happen.
But just like George Orwell will say in one of his best selling books (Animal Farm), "All animals are born equal, but some are more equal than others." So for the purpose of this year's Ballon d'Or award, I feel Van Dijk and Lionel Messi are the first two. You're free to disagree with me, that's the beauty of what we do here.
Lionel Messi(Offensive Player)
It's been a awesome year for the Argentine forward, though his trophy cabinet may not reflect the efforts he has put in his first year as Barcelona captain. He has some good statistics that could help in him being considered for the Ballon d'Or award. He won the best player award in the Spanish La liga, same in the UEFA champions league, emerging as the top scorer in both competitions. The Barcelona forward has also netted 30 goals in all competition already this year.
Though Barcelona couldn't lay their hands on the Champions league after they got knocked out by a highflying Liverpool side, and was also defeated by Valencia in the Copa Del Rey Final, the Argentine's individual brilliance stood out and that could sing for him when the time comes. The Copa America will kick off in few days time, and if all things go well for the Barcelona captain, he could steal the show and boost his chances of ascending the Iron throne once again. In fact, he is the best forward this season and his impact was felt all through. In summary, he is the best in what he does.
Van Dijk(Defensive Player)
Here is a Dutchman who have made a name for himself defensively in the world of football for the past few seasons. No one saw it Coming but the Dutch captain have proved himself worthy of accolades and the perfect antidote to the most dreadful attackers in the world. The Liverpool center back obviously have a lot to go in his favour in terms of the Ballon d'Or award this year. He has exuded excellence and has gone on to win the UEFA champions league. A trophy that eluded both Messi and Ronaldo.
Van Dijk has shown consistency in what he does and despite having come eyeball to eyeball with the best attacking players in the world, non were able to dribble past him. Some say he was good to perfection. He remains the worst thing that have happened to elite attackers in recent times. While many say that he failed to win the Nations League final against Portugal which would have boosted his chances even more, I still believe the Dutch captain remains a top favorite to grab the prize.
However, I feel both Players should be given two separate Ballon d'Or awards because they are judged with different criteria. For example, you can judge an offensive player by the number of goals, shots, dribbling, passes, assists etc. While on the other hand, a defensive player can be judged with stats like headers, tackles, goal bound interceptions etc.