Virgil Van Dijk's Classy Interview After Ballon D'Or Loss To Lionel Messi
By Mike Parrott
Virgil Van Dijk showed his class again after losing out on the Ballon D'Or to Lionel Messi, congratulating the Argentine on his record sixth Ballon D'Or.
Lionel Messi claimed his sixth Ballon D'Or tonight, claiming a record sixth Ballon D'or which puts him ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo for most Ballon D'or's ever.
Messi narrowly beat out Virgil Van Dijk to the top spot, however, Van Dijk wasn't overly upset, acknowledging the world-class ability Messi has and his stature as the best player of all time:
"I'm very proud of what I've achieved last year and hopefully we can do that again this year."@VirgilvDijk on a memorable 2019, after finishing second in the #BallonDor :raised_hands: pic.twitter.com/YVUZqdvQ9D- Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 2, 2019
"Unfortunately there are a couple of players like him [Messi] that are unnatural...six times the Ballon D'Or you need to respect greatness as well...I was close, but it was just someone who was a little bit better."
Van Dijk became the highest ranked defender in Ballon D'Or since Fabio Cannavaro won the award back in 2006. However, Van Dijk didn't believe he'd be nominated until he ultimately was a couple of weeks ago:
"To be absolutely honest, i never thought id be up for Ballon D'Or until i was actually nominated and it says a lot of how my career has been, its never been easy."
"My career is just different than the winner here, I came late but I never gave up my dreams and I had to work hard every step of the way."
"Where I am right now is something I'm very proud of, and to be here has made me very proud and makes me want to work harder so i can be here next year."
Van Dijk becomes the first Liverpool player to make the Ballon D'Or top three since Fernando Torres in 2008, and the first Dutchman to make the podium since Dennis Bergkamp in 1993.