The Dutch international won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool last season.

Liverpool star defender Virgil Van Dijk is thrilled with the Ballon d’Or nomination after a very eventful season with Liverpool which saw the Reds win the UEFA Champions League and finish second in the Premier League.

The winner of the much-coveted Ballon d’Or will be announced on Monday in a gala organised in Paris. While FC Barcelona and Argentina forward, Lionel Messi, is favourite to bag the glittering prize yet again, Van Dijk is supposed to be his closest competitor this season.

The Dutchman feels that he has already won the award just by being in the shortlist for the first time. Van Dijk was Jurgen Klopp’s most important part of the jigsaw puzzle which went onto bag the Champions League last season.

The 28-year old bagged the UEFA Player of the Year award and came second to Lionel Messi in the Footballer of the Year nominations.

This has been a career-changing season for Virgil Van Dijk as he switched from Southampton to join the Merseyside club. His signing fee was criticised heavily and now with his instrumental performances, the towering defender has answered his doubters.

Van Dijk was also equally good with Netherlands national team as he said, “I am going to have a look at what it is about. I am going to be there for a reason and there are no losers on the evening.”

“I am very proud to be in that bracket, to be in there for the way I performed with the team last year and also with the country.”

“It is just something to be proud of because not a lot of players go there and are up for these kinds of things. There’s going to be a winner but there are no losers. We will see what happens,” said the defender to Sky.

Out of the 30 nominees announced in October, seven Liverpool players have made the cut in that list which includes the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander Arnold, Alisson Becker and Georginio Wijnaldum.

There were other nominations from the Premier League which included five Manchester City players such as Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez. While Hugo Lloris and Heung-Min Son were the ones nominated from Tottenham Hotspurs.

Arsenal forward Pierre Emerick Aubameyang has also made the cut with former Chelsea man Eden Hazard and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo have also made the list for their outstanding performances in the calendar year.