By leading Liverpool to the Champions League, many feel as though Van Dijk deserves to win the 2019 Ballon d'Or award, although he told reporters that he does not agree.
By leading Liverpool to the Champions League, many feel as though Van Dijk deserves to win the 2019 Ballon d'Or award, although he told reporters that he does not agree–giving Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi the nod.
"I think Messi is the best player in the world. I think he deserves it as long as he plays," van Dijk said after Liverpool's 2-0 win over Tottenham on Saturday. "If it happens by any chance, then obviously I will take it, but I don't think there's any case. I think he is still the best player in the world, doesn't matter if he's not in the Champions League final."
Van Dijk has challenged the Reds to improve on their impressive form next season, as they target success in both the Champions League and Premier League.
Jurgen Klopp's side may have lifted the Champions League trophy, but it came up just short in pursuit of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table, with the Citizens finishing just one point ahead.
Van Dijk confessed that he was delighted with the team's performances, but the hard work is far from over.
"We're going to try next season again, and hopefully we'll be as close or even better next year."
The Dutchman was named as the Man of the Match in the final but, after being presented with the award, he was quick to deflect attention back to his team.
"In the second half we were sitting back a bit and they put pressure on us, but overall I think we're deserved Champions League winners," he said. "[Klopp] is a fantastic manager and a fantastic human being. It's an amazing environment to be in and I'm really proud to play for this beautiful club. We're all ambitious and we all want to have these kinds of nights so let's go for it – work hard and stay humble. I expect a lot from the party today and tomorrow!"