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Pique warns Van Dijk ahead of Ballon d’Or that the game is ‘made for strikers’

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The Liverpool centre-back is up for the award

Liverpool v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Second Leg Photo by Rich Linley - CameraSport via Getty Images

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique knows a thing or two about Ballon d’Or bids. He’s been side by side with Lionel Messi for years as the GOAT has racked up the nominations. This year, another defender is likely a top contender for the award. Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk is seen to be a player ready to compete for the award.

After a dazzling season with Liverpool, Van Dijk is sure to be one of the few favorites, but Pique warns him his stellar season may not be enough.

“I always said that for me, if you have to vote for the best player of them all, you have to vote for Lionel Messi,” he said.

”For the last 10 years he has been by far the best player in the world, but it’s fair enough that Van Dijk has done a great season and he should be there fighting for it.

”It’s not easy. This game is made for strikers. When they score they are the stars and when they don’t score, normally nothing happens.

”For keepers and defenders, it’s more difficult. When you do a good job it’s difficult for people to recognise you, but when you make a mistake you’re everywhere. Normally strikers will win it.”

Gerard Pique | Source

Messi ended up fifth in the Ballon d’Or voting last season which brought plenty of derision. He’s already been pipped by Van Dijk to the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award and it will be interesting to see how he does when it comes to the Golden Ball.