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Liverpool star Virgil Van Dijk's classy reaction after being pipped to Ballon d'Or by Lionel Messi

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Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has issued a typically classy reaction to just missing out on being named the world's best footballer behind Lionel Messi.

And I want to work hard and be here again next year.” Seven Liverpool players were named in the world's top 30 for this year's Ballon d'Or - as well as Van Dijk's runner up spot, Sadio Mane finished fourth, Mohamed Salah fifth, Alisson Becker seventh, Robert Firmino 17th, and Gini Wijnaldum joint 26th.

“I never thought that I would be up for a Ballon d’Or until I was actually nominated,” said Van Dijk.

Van Dijk was felt by many to be credible candidate to be the first defender to lift the Ballon d'Or since Italy's Fabio Cannavaro in 2006 but was gracious in accepting his runners-up medal and paid tribute to the great players in whose company he now easily sits.

2019 saw Messi pick up a tenth La Liga title but his dream of lifting a fifth Champions League was shattered by Van Dijk and Liverpool who incredibly overturned a three-goal first leg deficit to beat the Catalans 4-0 at Anfield, the Reds lifting a sixth European Cup after beating Tottenham in Madrid.

“I had to work hard every step of the way, so to be here makes me very proud.

“It was an amazing year, but there’s a couple of players like that who are a bit unnatural,” said Van Dijk, of Messi and Ronaldo.
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