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Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp has come forward in leaps and bounds. However, even until last year January, their defence was shakier than most teams and conceded silly goals.

It was last year when they signed Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton for a world record fee, that the Dutchman took charge of the backline single handedly.

Since then, it has been one and a half years and players are yet to dribble past the towering defender. Speed, positioning, tackling, strength, aerial ability, ball playing skills, acute reading of the game and a goal threat; Van Dijk is the ideal modern day defender.

Last week, when asked if he should win the Ballon d’Or, he said he would rather see Messi have it. However, his national team coach Ronald Koeman was having none of it.

“He deserves to win the Ballon d’Or,” Koeman said on Monday of Van Dijk. “It’s usually handed to players who make or create decisive goals, but if there ever is a time to give it to a defender, it is now.”

“In my opinion Messi is the best player,” Koeman said, “but I also think you should win big trophies with your team to be a contestant.”

SEE MORE: Liverpool Champions League titles: All Champions League titles won by Liverpool

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