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Creating a Ballon d'Or for Defenders and Deciding Who Would Have Won it

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Unfortunately for him, ?football is above giving awards to defenders, and Lionel Messi won both instead.

There was certainly momentum that wasn't far short of a campaign for him to scoop either of FIFA's The Best award or the Ballon d'Or.


Raphael Varane looked like a solid defender ever since breaking into Real Madrid's team as a teenager, but it wasn't until 2018 that you could say that he had made the jump to become the best in his role - after all, Ramos and Pepe would have already won this award by then.? The European and World Cups secured in the summer, he even had a semi-decent shout of winning the actual Ballon d'Or, but he'll have to settle for our work of fiction instead.

A real shame for the other two podium-finishers, whose displays as actual defenders were a cut above the rest.

?It's been a remarkable year for Virgil van Dijk, putting in arguably the best defensive displays in these 12 months this century (and when you see the state of football before that, probably all time).

The Blues conceded just 24 Premier League goals in the 2006/07 season to boot, and were also denied a spot in the Champions League final on penalties against Liverpool.
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