Van Dijk

Liverpool defender, Virgil van Dijk has described Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as unnatural players after the former claimed the Ballon d'Or for the sixth time last night.

Van Dijk finished second in the voting behind Messi, who moved one ahead of Ronaldo to claim an outright record sixth Ballon d'Or prize.

Juventus star, Ronaldo snubbed the awards ceremony, preferring to spend the night in Lisbon after learning he had not won this year's accolade and he finished third.

Speaking with reporters after the award was announced, Van Dijk had referred to Messi and Ronaldo when he said, "It was an amazing year, but there's a couple of players like that who are a bit unnatural.

"So 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 and Holland, and hopefully we can do that again this year. But that will be tough with those guys around here still."

Messi and Ronaldo have dominated the award in recent times, sharing the trophy in 11 of the last 12 years.

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