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Two Great Players - Van Dijk Praises Lionel Messi And Cristiano Ronaldo After Ballon D'or Criticism

Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk has praised Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo after Monday's night Ballon D'or ceremony. Messi won the 2019 Ballon D'or Award with Van Dijk in 2nd while Ronaldo was behind in 3rd.

Before the Ballon D'or ceremony, Van Dijk made a joke about Cristiano Ronaldo's absense at the event.

Asked about Ronaldo's absence, the Dutchman jokingly replied: 'Why? Was he a candidate?'

This resulted in an angry response from Ronaldo's sister Katia Aveiro, who stated that the Juventus forward 'will always be the best player in the world.'

Ronaldo's sister wrote on Instagram: 'I think there are people living completely frustrated!!! And unrealistic... such humility!

''Now, dear Virgil, where you are going, Cristiano Ronaldo has gone and has come a thousand times.

'You see, my dear Virgil, that Cristiano Ronaldo was a tri-champion in the country where you have been playing for years and you still haven't got your hand on the trophy.'

However, Van Dijk was eager to point out the respect that he has for both Messi and Ronaldo.

Van Dijk wrote on Twitter: 'It was a great privilege to attend the 2019 Ballon d'Or last night.

'I was humbled by the warm reception that I received in Paris and I'd like to say thank you to everyone who made us feel so welcome.

'Firstly I'd like to congratulate Lionel Messi on winning your historic sixth Ballon d'Or.

'As I also said last night at the ceremony, it's important to sit back and admire greatness when it's in front of you. Congratulations on another incredible year.

'On a personal level it was an honour to be nominated and I'm extremely proud to have come second and in the same company as two of the greatest players to ever play the game in Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

'We've enjoyed some good battles this year and I hope there will be many more to come.'

Van Dijk has been very impressive at Liverpool since joining the club in January 2018 and helped the Reds to win the Champions League last season.

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