Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk insisted he cannot be compared to Lionel Messi, dismissing any claims he was disappointed not to win the Best FIFA Men’s Player award.
Van Dijk finished second to Barcelona superstar Messi for the award on Monday, with Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo third.
The Dutch defender’s nomination came after a Champions League-winning season, as Van Dijk helped guide Liverpool past Tottenham in the final.
The centre-back said there was no way he could ever be compared to Messi, who scored 51 goals in all matches in 2018-19.
“The people who vote made a decision and you have to accept it,” Van Dijk told reporters.
“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.”
In addition to helping his team win the Champions League last campaign, Van Dijk’s Liverpool fell just short to Manchester City despite an incredible Premier League season.
In addition, the defender guided his country to the inaugural Nations League final, where they lost to Portugal.
And while Van Dijk, named in the FIFA World XI despite missing out on the award, said there was no disappointment when it came to Messi’s win.
“Disappointed? You can’t be disappointed,” he said.
“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.”
Liverpool face MK Dons in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday before paying a visit to Sheffield United in the Premier League three days later.