[UK], June 2 (ANI): Liverpool player Virgil van Dijk has lavishly praised Barcelona bigwig Lionel Messi, calling him the 'best player in the world.' And instead of picking his own name for the Ballon d'Or, the Netherlands international chose Messi.
"I think Messi is the best player in the world. He should win the Ballon d'Or," Goal.com quoted Van Dijk, as saying.
Liverpool won the Champions League title on Sunday as they defeated Tottenham in the final by securing a 2-0 victory.
Liverpool defender Van Dijk has been a key player for the club and was also named as the PFA Player of the Year and Premier League Player of the Season in England this season.
Liverpool ousted Barcelona from the Champions League but despite that Messi is still the top scorer in the league with a tally of 12 goals.
However, Van Dijk is expected to give a tough competition to Messi for the Ballon d'Or and if he managed to do so, he will become the first defender to pick up the Ballon d'Or since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006.
"So I'm not thinking of that. But if I win, I'll take it. Messi should win it though. He is the best in the world, whether he's in the final or not," he said.
Liverpool's season ended with the Champions League final and Van Dijk is not satisfied yet as he eyes on the Premier League title next season.
Manchester United won this year's Premier League title and they were just one point ahead of Liverpool.
"We should be hungry. This season finished today with the Champions League. In July, everyone starts at zero and we go again. We saw this season that we still have to build on it," Van Dijk said.
"We need to challenge Manchester City again because I don't think they're going anywhere. We are ambitious and we want these type of nights a couple of times a year," he said. (ANI)