By 90Min
September 24, 2019

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has insisted that he cannot be compared to Barcelona's Lionel Messi, who beat the Dutchman to The Best FIFA Men's Player of the Year award.

The pair were finalists for the award alongside Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo, but it was Messi who took home the prize on Monday evening, leaving Van Dijk second in the overall voting.

Speaking to the media after the event (via Goal), Van Dijk insisted that he was not disappointed to come away without the individual award.

He said: "The people who vote made a decision and you have to accept it. That's just the case and as players you can't compare me and Messi because it's totally different. I'm very proud to be here."

Fortunately, Van Dijk's performances over the last year were rewarded with a spot in The Best XI, alongside the likes of Messi and Liverpool teammate Alisson.

"Disappointed? You can't be disappointed. I'm just very happy to be here, to be in the Team of the Year, after the hard work and the good work we put in last year. Today, I, unfortunately, didn't win but I'm not disappointed," the Dutchman added.

Van Dijk has helped transform Liverpool into one of the world's strongest teams, and he played a pivotal role in their run to Champions League glory last season, establishing himself as one of the finest defenders around.

Jan Kruger/GettyImages

Although he missed out on the FIFA prize, which is voted for by national team captains, managers and media representatives around the world, Van Dijk was named UEFA Men's Player of the Year back in August.

The 28-year-old Dutchman also remains in the running for football's other great individual honour, the Ballon d'Or, which will be awarded in early December. 

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