Former Celtic hero Virgil Van Dijk has been named as one of the 30 nominees for this year’s Ballon D’Or award.

The Dutchman is one of seven Liverpool players to be up for the award given to the player who has had the best calendar year. His teammates Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are among those who have also been nominated although there’s no place for Scottish full-back Andy Robertson.

Celtic posted their congratulations to the big central-defender as they quoted his inspirational tweet with a simple “Well deserved” comment. And the Dutchman was certainly appreciative of his former club’s message as he recognised it by liking the tweet.

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Ballon D’Or nomination shows how highly Van Dijk is regarded

Van Dijk is probably in with a fairly strong chance of winning the award after a stellar season at both club and international level although he will once again come up against the formidable duo of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – who have both won the award on five occasions.

(Photo by Harold Cunningham – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

However, the majority of the Celtic support will be rooting for their former man who has gone on to become arguably the best defender in world football. We always knew Van Dijk had some real quality about him and would make it to the top of the game, but it is perhaps even a surprise to some just how easily he copes in the English top-flight.

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He now struts around Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford like he used to at Tynecastle and Easter Road.

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