On Monday, Liverpool ace Virgil van Dijk finished runner-up in the race for the Ballon d’Or 2019, as Lionel Messi scripted history by winning what was his sixth Ballon d’Or trophy – thereby becoming the only footballer to do so, so far.
However, despite having missed out on what would have been his maiden Ballon d’Or award, van Dijk had no problems as he said that he lost out on none other than Messi himself, which, in itself is a great achievement.
“It’s like that. It’s his sixth Ballon d’Or, it’s incredible. It’s Messi,” the Liverpool centre-back was quoted as saying.
“Liverpool has had a fabulous year, it’s a pleasure to play with such a team, with all these fantastic players,” he added further, before explaining:
“But now it’s not because you’ve managed a year that you’re still going to succeed the season after.”
“It’s not easy to manage. I set the bar high and now people have a lot of expectations for me.”
“It was amazing,” van Dijk said, when asked about how great the year so far has been for him.
“Unfortunately there are a couple of players like him [Messi] that are a bit unnatural, I think.”
“They’re fantastic. Six-time Ballon d’Or [winner], you need to respect greatness as well. I was close but there was just someone a little bit better.”
“I’m very proud of what I achieved last year with Liverpool, Holland and hopefully we can do that again this year.”
“It’s going to be tough as long as these guys are around still,” he concluded.
Quotes via France Football.