Virgil Van Dijk’s hopes of winning the Ballon d’Or look to have been scuppered by Lionel Messi, but the Dutchman insists there will “no losers” at the ceremony on Monday.

The Liverpool centre-half is heading to the Paris presentation gala amid reports Barcelona’s Messi has already been informed that he has won the vote.

An apparently leaked document placed Messi first in the vote for the best player in the world, ahead of Van Dijk second and his Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah in third.

A victory for 32-year-old Messi would earn him the award for a record sixth time, one more than Cristiano Ronaldo.

Van Dijk has already won Uefa player of the year after a superb 12 months in which his side won the Champions League and now lead the Premier League by eight points. “There are no losers on that evening,” Van Dijk said. “I am very proud to be in that bracket, 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 kind of things. There are no losers that evening – we’ll see what happens.”

Megan Rapinoe, the United States talisman, is favourite to add the women’s Ballon d’Or to her World Cup winners’ medal from the summer. The 34-year-old had an outstanding tournament, also winning the Golden Boot for the top scorer and the Golden Ball for best player.

England’s Lucy Bronze, Holland striker Vivianne Miedema and Sam Kerr of Australia are among the other players shortlisted. Norway’s Ada Hegerberg will not retain her title after missing the World Cup.

By Chris Bascombe

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