Van Dijk on Cristiano Ronaldo's absence at Ballon d'Or 2019: 'Was he a rival then?'
- Cristiano Ronaldo will miss the Ballon d'Or ceremony.
- Virgil van Dijk and Leo Messi are believed to be the favourites for the award.
- When asked about Cristiano, the Liverpool defender suggested that he wasn't really a competitor.
- Instead, Ronaldo is expected to attend a ceremony organized by Serie A in Italy taking place at the same time.
As Diario Sport reported earlier, Cristiano Ronaldo won't attend the Ballon d'Or ceremony in Paris. Leo Messi is said to be the favourite to win the award while Liverpool's defender Virgil van Dijk is his greatest competitor.
The Dutchman was asked to comment on the Portuguese's absence, with the journalist suggesting that this means one competitor less to the prize. The defender, however, delivered a brilliant answer: "Was he even a competitor then?"
As a reminder, several sources suggested earlier that Barca's captain is set to win the prestigious award for the sixth time in his career. Ballon d'Or have already announced the players that finished 30 to 11, with three Barca players making that list. Meanwhile, Leo entered the top 10 and the winner is set to be announced during the ceremony.
As for Cristiano, the former Real Madrid player will attend the Gran Gala of Calcio in Milan, Italy. The Portugal international is expected to win the prize for the Most Valuable Player of the 2018-19 Serie A season. Besides, Ronaldo is reportedly set to be included in the best XI of last season. This event, interestingly enough, will be held on the same day and time as the Ballon d'Or gala.