Jurgen Klopp (file pic).
spoiled for choice

Klopp: Which Liverpool players weren't nominated for Ballon d'Or?

The coach joked about having the most players shortlisted for the upcoming award.

JURGEN KLOPP JOKED that he was more concerned about which Liverpool players weren’t nominated for the Ballon d’Or after seven Reds made the shortlist for this season’s award.

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker, defenders Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and forwards Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino all made the list.

Van Dijk is widely seen as among the favourites to win the award, having been named a finalist for the Best Men’s Player award alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and eventual winner Lionel Messi.

If Van Dijk were to win, he would become the first defender to claim the award since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006.

While Klopp believes his seven players have all earned their spots on the list, he was a little surprised to see Manchester City snubbed at Fifa’s The Best award several weeks ago.

“I heard we had seven nominees and my first question was, ‘who is not nominated?’,” Klopp said.

It is nice. I do not understand much about these kinds of things to be 100% honest — and what it means to the players. I know when you win it is big and if you don’t it does not hurt too much. It is a very good sign and after last season and how we played it is normal that a lot of players have to be nominated if there are football experts.

“To be honest I was surprised when I was at the other (Fifa) awards and no player from Man City was in that team because we all know they play really good football.

“Is this about playing in a specific tournament?  Yes, it is important. Our seven players are all deserved.

If it is a sign that we are a destination, I do not know. We will see. It looks like we are comfortable with each other. We want to work together for the next couple of years together or more but we will see what the future brings.”

One of the Liverpool players not nominated for the award, James Milner, believes the nominations say a lot about Liverpool as a unit as they prepare to continue their Champions League title defence against Genk on Wednesday.

“I think it’s well deserved. The lads that are in there, I think it says a lot about the team and the job we are doing as a club and a squad collectively,” he said.

“There are probably a couple more who weren’t in there who could have been so that says a lot about the team and getting to back to back Champions League finals helps as well.

We play as a squad, the team comes first, everyone does their job on both sides of the ball, individual awards are great, they come along but you have to be doing the business as a team and winning trophies as a team.

“You can see that is the mentality of the squad, the team always comes first. If there are individual awards to be picked up along the way that’s great and its recognition for the job that you’re doing but every single player would sacrifice individual awards for the team trophies.”

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