Virgil Van Dijk: "You Cannot Compare Me And Lionel Messi"
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk is not disappointed by the outcome of Monday night's FIFA best awards.
In fact, the 28-year-old, who lifted the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award in August, claimed that "you cannot compare me and Lionel Messi" after the five-time Ballon d'Or winner lifted the coveted trophy in Milan.
Van Dijk has lifted numerous individual awards since joining the Premier League side last year, including the PFA Player of the Year and the Premier League Player of the Season for the 2018/19 campaign.
But he was pipped to the award by the genius of Lionel Messi, who scored 54 goals in 58 games for club and country last season.
It was a decision that the centre-back has accepted.
"The people who vote made a decision and you have to accept it," Van Dijk told reporters. "That's just the case and as players you can't compare me and Messi because it's totally different. I'm very proud to be here."
Van Dijk went on to reveal his delight at being included in the World Team XI, where he joined the likes of Luka Modric, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo in the side.
"Disappointed? You can't be disappointed. I'm just very happy to be here, to be in the team of the year, after the hard work and the good work we put in last year." he said.
"Today, I, unfortunately, didn't win but I'm not disappointed."
Van Dijk after becoming 2nd last night: "Messi had an incredible season. He's a fantastic player, probably the best player in the world or the best player of all time in football. After the TOTY got announced I already got told he would win. I'm super happy for him."- AFC Ajax :gem: (@TheEuropeanLad) September 24, 2019
CLASS! :raised_hands: pic.twitter.com/DDdd67cXYE
Someone who strongly disagreed with the decision to name Messi the best player was former Arsenal midfielder turned pundit, Paul Merson.
He claims it is an "absolute joke" that the Argentinian forward picked up the award on Monday night.
"No. No. It's a joke. Sorry, it's a joke." he told Sky Sports. "He's just done what he's done every season. He hasn't taken them to another level. He didn't take them to win the Champions League. That's what Barcelona are all about.
"How many does he get against Alaves? You win it because you've done something special. Van Dijk has done something special.
"They've won the Champions League, Liverpool. That's what Barcelona wanted to win. If you asked Barcelona what do you want to win the league or the Champions League? They'd've gone the Champions League.
"For me it's an absolute joke, that. An absolute joke."
Thoughts on Messi winning the FIFA best men's award in Milan? Do you think van Dijk deserved to pick up another individual trophy?
Let us know in the comments.