Liverpool and Netherlands star Virgil van Dijk finished second-best in the Ballon d’Or 2019 as Argentine superstar Lionel Messi made history by winning his sixth Ballon d’Or trophy. He thereby became the only footballer to have six such trophies to his name.
In a recent revelation, it is now being reported that Lionel Messi was just seven points ahead of Virgil van Dijk. While Messi had accumulated 686 points and grabbed the top position, Van Dijk finished with 679 points and finished on the second place.
To put things into perspective, two more votes in favour of Virgil van Dijk would have made him the winner of the coveted award.
Despite narrowly missing out on what could have been his maiden Ballon d’Or trophy, Virgil was content as he stated that he lost out to no one else but the legend Lionel Messi himself. He added that losing to Messi was an achievement in itself.
“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 by the official website of France football.
“Liverpool has had a fabulous year, it’s a pleasure to play with such a team, with all these fantastic players,” he added.
“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 to evaluate the year.
“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.